Garry Birtles has offered backing to Lyle Taylor after a frustrating season for the Nottingham Forest striker thus far.
Taylor has found it hard to make an impact since joining Forest on a free transfer in the summer, following the expiration of his contract at Charlton Athletic.
The 30-year-old has scored five goals in 34 appearances for the Reds in all competitions, but has been mostly utilised as a back-up option to Lewis Grabban and Glenn Murray.
18 of Taylor’s 31 Championship appearances this season have come as a substitute, and he has been unable to score after coming off the bench this term.
On Tuesday night, Forest fell to only their third defeat in 16 with Luton Town picking up a 1-0 win at the City Ground, with Taylor coming on for the final 22 minutes of the contest.
But the striker barely had a touch in the final third, and struggled to impose himself on the game and make any sort of impact.
Speaking on the Garibaldi Red podcast, former Forest striker Garry Birtles has offered backing to Taylor.
He said: “Lyle Taylor is top scorer with four (in the league) but he’s not getting a start. Anyone will tell you it’s very difficult to come into a game and get into the speed of it straight away.
“It’s unfair to criticise people when they only get a bit of time. People said the substitutes made no impact against Luton, but the problem is when the top scorer has four goals, you are looking for others to chip in.
“No one else has been. Joe Lolley last season was weighing in with goals. Centre halves aren’t scoring goals.
“I think it’s harsh to criticise Taylor. He had to come off the bench and it’s difficult to get into the pace of the game. You maybe try too hard. He’s a trier and his work rate is very good.
You’ve got to feel for Taylor in some ways.
He went on a good run in front of goal before the international break back in November, but they played some tough teams and Lewis Grabban scored upon his return to the side.
When you’re chasing the game, it is sometimes hard to make an impact, and what Taylor needs is a start to prove his critics wrong.
His work-rate is excellent and he is probably the fastest striker Forest have, so I’d be tempted to give him a go.