Nottingham Forest were knocked out of the FA Cup as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Premier League side Chelsea this afternoon.
The Reds were competitive for large periods, but two goals from Álvaro Morata ultimately condemned them to defeat.
In comparison to Forest’s performance at Stamford Bridge last season, it was a vast improvement.
Aitor Karanka made a total of four changes to his starting line-up following the defeat to Leeds.
As a result of Costel Pantilimon’s slight back problem, Luke Steele was given a rare opportunity to make an impression.
For the most part, the 34-year-old looked very assured against Premier League opponents.
Steele grasps the opportunity with both hands
Since joining Forest in August, Steele has only made five appearances.
Not a single one of these appearances has come in the Championship.
Opportunities to prove to Karanka that he is worthy of a regular starting place have been limited.
His performance on Saturday has now given Karanka a decision to make ahead of the trip to Reading.
The highlight was his brilliant save to deny Cesc Fàbregas from the penalty spot.
Fàbregas tried to fool Steele with a fancy run-up, only to be denied in front of the jubilant travelling supporters.
This wasn’t the only contribution Steele made.
Morata may have got the better of him in the second half, but he was previously left frustrated by Steele.
Davide Zappacosta’s venomous strike was also well stopped by the Reds keeper.
After another questionable performance from Pantilimon against Leeds on New Year’s Day, Seat Pitch rounded up exactly what Reds supporters were saying about Steele’s future first-team chances.
Steele must start the next game for me, looks so much more composed and confident with his feet #NFFC
— Josh Bradshaw (@Josh_uaBradshaw) January 5, 2019
Hopefully Steele has done enough to prove why he deserves to be our Number 1 and to be given a go in the league #NFFC
— Neil Fraser (@NeilF24) January 5, 2019
— Nath (@Nath1taia) January 5, 2019
Steele is much better than Pantillimon. Get him in the side #nffc
— Lewis Staniforth (@LStaniforth92) January 5, 2019
Steele deserves a run in the team now.
— GMPM (@GMPM1972) January 5, 2019
Steele has to have a run in net. Seems better in every way. #NFFC
— Ben (@BenNFFC2002) January 5, 2019
— YNDL (@joeyyandell) January 5, 2019