While things appear to be on the up away from the pitch at Nottingham Forest, with new CEO Dane Murphy prioritising the signings of young and exciting talents as well as shipping out a great deal of the Reds’ deadwood, it would appear to be the same old story on the pitch for the Garibaldi.
Indeed, at the start of the club’s 2020/21 Championship campaign, Forest lost their first four fixtures of the season, a run of results that eventually led to Sabri Lamouchi’s sacking and Chris Hughton’s appointment at the City Ground.
However, it is now Hughton who will be feeling the pressure, as following Wednesday evening’s 2-1 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers, the 62-year-old is now just one game away from repeating his predecessor’s undesirable feat of suffering four consecutive losses to kick off his side’s campaign.
The latest defeat to Rovers was, in truth, something of an even game, with Forest having 60% of the ball, Blackburn taking more shots, Hughton’s side completing nearly 150 more passes than their opponents and, ultimately, Tony Mowbray’s side outscoring the hosts by two goals to one.
Having said that, there were nevertheless a number of below-par performances in the Forest ranks, with perhaps the most disappointing display coming from the Reds 19-year-old winger, Alex Mighten.
Indeed, over the course of his 64 minutes on the pitch, the £2.5k-per-week forward managed no shots on target, completed just 15 passes, was dribbled past twice and touched the ball a grand total of 37 times – 18 times less than the Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba.
These returns saw Mighten earn a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.2, the second-worst of any Forest player in the fixture, with only Jordan Lawrence-Gabriel – who was sent off in the 90th minute following a second booking – receiving a lower rating than the 19-year-old.
As such, while he is undoubtedly still an up and coming talent at the City Ground, the youngster will certainly have to improve his level of performance against Stoke City this weekend if he is to have any chance of keeping his spot in Hughton’s starting XI going forwards – if he is indeed given the chance by his manager.