This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
The point of no return?
That could be the situation facing Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates as he and the team prepare to take on Luton Town.
It’s been a while since the Reds have been in action, with last week’s game against Reading being called off. However, Yates has been used to time off. He had been out for the majority of the early part of the season after going through a knee operation in the summer. Consequently, he’s made just one sub appearance.
Speaking ahead of the game, Yates spoke about how hard he has been working to get back to fitness and that after making his return against Hull last week, he wants to make sure that he can stay a member of the squad for a long time to come:
“I think that there is more to come from me; I have to take it day by day, keep training harder and harder and keep learning from the experienced pros in the team.
“If I do get a chance, I have to take it with both hands and try and keep hold of the shirt. I just need to show my passion, desire and hopefully we can win games.”
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Yates is absolutely right in his assessment of the situation. With Samba Sow going through an injury of his own, this is going to be his best chance to prove that he can compete for a place in the starting line-up.
He is clearly seen as someone for the future, having made his breakthrough in the side in the latter part of last season under Martin O’Neill and even managing to get on the scoresheet once (via Transfermarkt).
However, those performances will mean nothing for him going forward.
Whilst it might be harsh to suggest, it is important to remember that Yates is not a Sabri Lamouchi player, he merely inherited him.
That means that there are no emotional attachments to his past career at the City Ground and that if he doesn’t prove to Lamouchi what he can do, it will make the whole job of selling him on and bringing in someone that can fit his style a lot easier.
With that being said, the 21-year-old will be hoping he gets the chance to start the game. Judging by the number of comments in a recent Q&A with Paul Taylor of The Athletic, it’s clear to see that fans hold him in high regard.
Now he needs to get in just as high a regard with the head coach.