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Nottingham Forest: Neco Williams had a nightmare vs Blackpool

Nottingham Forest made the trip to Bloomfield Road this afternoon in their FA Cup third round clash against Blackpool, but Steve Cooper‘s decision to make 11 changes to the starting line-up which beat Southampton earlier this week didn’t pay off at all.

The Tricky Trees were thrashed 4-1 today in an embarrassing performance which has seen them crash out of the competition, but it would at least have given the manager an insight into the quality of depth in his squad as he heads into the second half of the season.

Despite having 62% possession of the ball, more shots on goal (20 v 13), more big chances created (4 v 2) and more passes completed (351 v 154), Forest proved that having more opportunities and better statistics is not always reflective of overall performance on the pitch.

In the first half, it was relatively uneventful initially for both teams as they warmed into the clash, until the 17th minute when Blackpool’s Marvin Ekpiteta found the net to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.

Indeed, Forest had four shots on target in the first half but were unable to nab an equaliser before the half-time whistle.

The visitors’ struggles continued in the second half as Ian Carlo Poveda doubled Blackpool’s lead in the 64th minute, with CJ Hamilton and Jerry Yates completing the quartet of goals scored by the Tangerines.

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Stan Collymore - Nottingham Forest

Who did Forest sign Stan Collymore from in 1993?

Forest midfielder Ryan Yates – who was introduced in the 65th minute – provided a consolation goal in the second minute of injury time after the starting forward line failed to threaten throughout.

One player who had an absolute nightmare this afternoon was Neco Williams, who not only put on an awful display at right-back but also picked up an injury towards the end of his performance.

In 79 minutes on the pitch, the Welshman lost the ball once every 3.4 touches (20/69), lost six out of his nine duels, was unsuccessful in 100% of his dribble attempts and was dribbled past once, along with having an error which led to a goal to top off a terrible outing for the 21-year-old (Sofascore).

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Forest fans will now have to wait for an assessment on Williams’ injury which led to his enforced exit from the action, but after his performance today it would seem unlikely that he has stolen a starting berth from Serge Aurier in the right full-back position in upcoming fixtures.

There is no doubt that the City Ground faithful will be disappointed with this result, but the focus is now on their Premier League survival challenge, and ensuring that top-flight football is secured for next season will be Cooper’s top priority going forward.