If Nottingham Forest are to secure a top-six finish, then they may need Lewis Grabban to play a leading role.

Despite being three games without a goal, and with only one in his last 13, the 31-year-old remains the Reds’ most potent attacking weapon.

He has, after all, found the target 16 times across all competitions this season.

A barren spell has proved untimely.

It has, however, been broken by a niggling injury which prevented him from making the desired impact.

Now supposedly free of that ailment, a spark is required.

If Forest can get Grabban firing again, then anything could still be possible.

Carve open a few opportunities and he is the man most likely to take them.

Giving him those chances is imperative.

Martin O’Neill cannot, if the play-offs are to be shot at, rely on Molla Wague to bail him out.

Regardless of how prolific the Malian defender may appear at present.

Prolific

(Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Strikers score goals.

Goals win games.

Wins deliver points.

Forest need all of the above.

And with Grabban the most likely to deliver, the breaking of a 16-year run in the final third would also be most welcome.

Not since 2002-03 have the Reds had somebody hit the 20-goal mark – when two players managed it.

David Johnson and Marlon Harewood were the last to achieve that feat, with the former plundering 29 efforts across all competitions and the latter 21.

Grabban needs just four more, and only has Championship action to focus on.

Should he get over the line, in more ways than one, he will join an exclusive club.

Fabled

 

Only a select few have reached the fabled 20-goal point for Forest since Garry Birtles in the European Cup-winning campaign of 1978-79.

Some 40 years ago.

Johnson and Harewood were the most recent, with the clock having to be turned back to 1997-98 and Pierre van Hooijdonk (34) and Kevin Campbell (23) to find the next entries on the list.

Stan Collymore managed 25 goals in back-to-back campaigns at the City Ground from 1993 to 1995, and Teddy Sheringham 22 in the 1991-92 season.

Before them, Nigel Clough broke through a notable barrier on three occasions between 1987 and 1991.

Household names, one and all.

Grabban needs to add his to the list even if a similar standing is not secured in Forest folklore.

Time is on his side to achieve that – he will be back for more next season regardless – but opportunity knocks.

He has seven games in which to open the door and join a party of legends.