Nottingham Forest’s unbeaten stretch came crashing to a halt at the City Ground yesterday as Preston ran out 1-0 victors.
Louis Moult’s 56th-minute strike was enough to ensure Forest suffered their first defeat in eight games; providing boss Aitor Karanka with some thinking to do ahead of the trip to Derby next time around.
One serious conundrum facing the boss is the situation between the posts.
Costel Pantilimon’s performances have come under scrutiny from some sections of the Forest faithful this season with Karanka now facing a stick or twist situation.
The big Romanian’s credibility as the club’s number one goalkeeper was once again in question following the Preston defeat; Pantilimon offering an unconvincing attempt to cut out Lukas Nmecha’s cross at his near post allowing Moult to tap home.
According to reliable national journalist Alan Nixon, Forest hold a desire to add to their goalkeeping ranks, which seemingly confirms that Karanka is losing patience with his custodian.
Who is next for Forest?
Talk among his critics has now turned towards who is in line to replace Pantilimon.
Sheffield Wednesday misfit Kieren Westwood should be the man right at the top of Karanka’s list of January targets.
It is exactly one year since Westwood played for the Owls. The Republic of Ireland man suffered a groin injury which kept him out of the second half of last season and has since fallen out of favour under Jos Luhukay.
Despite the fact he is 34-years-old it seems likely that Westwood will be on the radar of several clubs and Forest might need to act quickly.
During the 2015/16 campaign, Westwood was instrumental for the Owls as they reached the Championship play-off final and that experience could be massive for Forest.
After spending heavily during the summer, any January signings must represent upgrades on the current crop.
Should Westwood sign for Forest, it is safe to say that he would represent a significant upgrade on Pantilimon.