Nottingham Forest embark on a new era under Martin O’Neill tomorrow when Bristol City arrive at the City Ground.
The Robins are in fine form at the moment but the Forest faithful will hope to see a rejuvenated side take to the pitch as O’Neill takes his bow as the club’s manager.
As ever when a new manager takes charge it is intriguing to see if the new incumbent will spring any surprises in his squad.
One man who has worked with O’Neill before is Forest midfielder Jack Colback.
The 29-year-old featured prominently for Sunderland under the new Reds boss and he looks set to remain a big player in the Forest side.
After taking some time to win over some Forest supporters Colback is now viewed as one of the club’s best performers.
Some statistics emerged this week that confirmed his importance to the team.
According to EFL Stats on Twitter, Colback boasts the highest pass success rate in the entire Championship:
EFL Championship top players after GW27
Pass Success %
1 Colback 88% #NFFC
2 Grealish 87.7% #AVFC
3 Konsa 87.6% #BrentfordFC
4 Mepham 87.3% #BrentfordFC
= Whelan 87.3% #AVFC
6 Chester 87.1% #AVFC
7 Trybull 87% #NCFC
= Hourihane 87% #AVFC
= Forshaw 87% #LUFC
= Besic 87% #Boro pic.twitter.com/YEc3dPDQml
— EFL Stats (@EFLStats) January 16, 2019
This quite clearly highlights that the on loan Newcastle United man is a vital asset for Forest.
When he signed at the start of the season some of the more cynical Reds questioned what value he would add to the team.
Some other supporters questioned the need to be paying a chuck of Colback’s wages, at a time when other areas where in more need of a refurbishment.
These emerging stats appear to show that he is proving to be worth every penny.
The vastly experienced player keeps things ticking from the middle of the park and looks like maintaining his status as a key performer under O’Neill.
Some have mentioned that he could be the new boss’ captain; although as a temporary signing that might not send out the right message.
Forest might have already held discussions with Newcastle regarding a permanent deal during the summer and completing a deal needs to be on the club’s agenda.