This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
It’s doesn’t make for ideal reading, but there’s something good to come out of it.
Nottingham Forest are getting ready to take on Wigan Athletic this weekend, but they’ll have to do it without a number of their first-team players.
Speaking in his press conference on Friday, Forest boss Sabri Lamouchi laid out just how extensive the Forest injury list was – ruling Samba Sow, Alfa Semedo and Michael Dawson out of the match.
“Samba Sow and Alfa Semedo, they need more days and more weeks maybe to work with the medical department,” he commented. “Dawson has started to run on the pitch, so he will be back soon,” Lamouchi added.
The Frenchman also said: “It creates opportunities for others.”
Quite frankly, this should really be seen as a blessing in disguise for Forest, rather than a crisis. Now we will get to see exactly what Lamouchi is made of.
He has had a relatively successful start to his Forest career, and he has done so without any major hiccups, guiding his team to a rather remarkable second place over the international break.
Now, though, he is potentially set to be without not just one, but a number of first-team players for a significant period of time.
He will have had a rough idea of just how bad these injuries were during the international break and made plans accordingly based around what he has left. This will act as a test to see if it was the players that were making things click, or if Lamouchi really deserves his Manager of the Month award.
Wigan Athletic might not look the most dangerous side on paper, currently sitting 19th in the table, but their home form in the league has been incredibly impressive, losing just once, and will serve as a tough test for Lamouchi and the Reds.
If they can come out of this game, and to a lesser extent the game against Hull next week with a full set of six points, it will show just how good their strength in depth is.
If they slip up, then it might just serve as a bit of a reality check to the squad and give them a wake-up call that there’s still plenty of work to do if they are to stay at the top of the table this season.
On the other hand, it will present opportunities to others, something that can help get every single member of the squad up to speed and ready to push for promotion.