Nottingham Forest injected significant life into their promotion push on New Year’s Day with a 4-2 win over Leeds United.
The Reds were in fine fettle in front of the City Ground faithful; scoring three goals in seven second-half minutes to snatch victory away from the league leaders.
In terms of personnel, it was Jack Colback who really stood up to be counted in a time of adversity, scoring twice and putting in a man of the match performance.
The 29-year-old is on a season-long loan at Forest from Newcastle United and this stunning showing highlighted his importance to Aitor Karanka’s team.
Did Forest really need him?
Some of the more cynical supporters deemed Colback’s arrival as a waste of wages during the summer; the combative midfielder is on a reported £40,000 per-week at St. James’ Park, according to Chronicle Live.
It may sound silly, but on current form, Colback is worth every single penny.
For the club to put behind them several years of turmoil, boss Karanka went on a summer spending spree.
It would appear, however, that his most important business back in August is proving to be the re-signing of Colback, who spent last season on loan at the City Ground.
His cynics have quickly gone into hiding this season, given that he is quickly becoming the Reds’ most important player.
Leader of men
A player of the midfielder’s nature is a must in a 4-2-3-1 system and his two goals against the Whites highlighted strengths at both ends of the pitch.
At a time when the chips were down for the Reds, it was Colback who grabbed the team by the scruff of the neck and came out fighting.
The man once dubbed as the ‘Ginger Pirlo’ by ex-England boss Roy Hodgson, as per a report in The Guardian, is out of contract during the summer and the Reds would be wise to pounce.
If Forest are serious about reaching the Premier League in the not so distant future then building the team around players such as Colback would be very wise.
Interest in the ex-Sunderland man will probably rocket in the summer and the Reds will need to act fast.
It already feels quite conclusive that Forest’s primary summer interest should be to tie down Colback on a permanent contract with the club; particularly if they remain in the second tier.