Nottingham Forest will still be celebrating their incredible victory in the Premier League last weekend when they beat Liverpool 1-0 at the City Ground, but Steve Cooper must not get complacent and will need to continue to adapt his team to inspire results over the season ahead.
Indeed, the three points earned against the Merseyside giants could be incredibly valuable in the Garibaldi’s pursuit to retain their top-flight status at the end of the season, as they are currently matching their relegation zone competitors with nine points and are just two from safety.
Forest will face Arsenal, Brentford and Crystal Palace over their final three games before Premier League football breaks for the World Cup, and taking as much as they can from those fixtures will be essential for setting themselves up in a much more comfortable position ahead of the second half of the season.
Despite the fantastic three-pointer against Jurgen Klopp’s side, there are still many issues to iron out at the City Ground. Cooper will have the opportunity during the forthcoming break to work on solutions to tally up many more points when the Tricky Trees return to action after Christmas, as well as the chance to strengthen in the January transfer window.
One player who has failed to make the desired impact on the team since his highly anticipated arrival in the summer is Jesse Lingard, with the former Manchester United sensation struggling to impose himself effectively on opponents over his first few outings for his new club.
The 29-year-old, who was dubbed “anonymous” by The Guardian journalist Will Unwin, has offered no goal contributions in his 10 Premier League appearances so far and has shown little effort in his performances when selected by Cooper.
Lingard has failed in 69% of his duels and 60% of his dribbles, making just 0.9 key passes and 0.4 interceptions per game and creating zero big chances for his forward team-mates so far. That will be massively frustrating for Forest, considering that he is by far the highest paid player at the club, collecting £200k-per-week.
As a result, the arrival of Gustavo Scarpa will be a huge attacking boost for the Garibaldi when he arrives in January after agreeing to join the club for the second half of the season when his contract expires with Palmeiras.
Last season alone, the talented ace scored 12 goals and set up another 14 in 56 appearances, so there is no doubt that Nottingham Forest will benefit hugely if he can continue this consistent output when he moves to England in the new year.
The arrival of Scarpa will offer Cooper much more creativity and hopefully many more goalscoring opportunities than Lingard has provided so far, and the Palmeiras player could be exactly the attacking threat that Forest need in order to secure another season of top-tier football.