Nottingham Forest produced a late comeback to defeat Swansea City 2-1 on Saturday at the City Ground.
Conor Roberts fired the Swans into a second-half lead but goals from Daryl Murphy and Molla Wague ensured the Reds’ faint play-off hopes were kept alive.
It is fair to suggest that the performance wasn’t pretty.
Martin O’Neill’s side toiled for the best part of 70 minutes and in truth, they rarely looked like scoring.
The midfield trio of Ben Watson, Jack Colback, and Ryan Yates just didn’t quite work on Saturday.
Colback is the first name on the team-sheet. Let’s not make any suggestions otherwise with that one.
Watson and Yates, however, have looked off the boil of late.
Claudio Yacob was sat on the bench on Saturday and his presence in the middle of the park is missed.
Whenever called upon this season, the former West Brom man hasn’t let anyone down.
Watson hasn’t done an awful lot drastically wrong since his return to the side, but frankly, Yacob is a better player.
Not to pick fault with just Watson, academy starlet Yates has looked out of sorts in recent weeks.
After bursting onto the scene in February he looked fearless, calm and composed in midfield.
The recent games with Villa, Ipswich and on Saturday against Swansea simply passed him by, however.
There is little doubt that Yates is a star in the making but Yacob’s experience and expertise should be a useful asset for O’Neill during the last seven games.
Colback alongside Yacob has been Forest’s most fruitful pairing in midfield this season and the Reds boss would be wise to get the 31-year-old back on the pitch before the end of the campaign.