One player made a huge impact on his return to the Nottingham Forest starting line-up yesterday.

There are many Reds supporters who have taken to Twitter to praise midfielder João Carvalho.

The Reds faced play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough at the City Ground yesterday afternoon, after seeing their own hopes of making the top six ended in recent weeks. It didn’t look an easy task on paper, especially with pressure building on manager Martin O’Neill after four defeats in a row.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

But Forest returned to winning ways in the Championship with relative ease. There’s no doubt that Carvalho played a key role in this.

O’Neill’s side dominated for large periods and deservedly took the lead before half-time as Joe Lolley converted from the penalty spot. This came after Karim Ansarifard has been fouled from behind by Ryan Shotton.

It didn’t take the Reds long to reassert their dominance after the break. Alexander Milošević doubled their advantage with a well-taken volley, as he scored his first goal for the club. Lolley was then able to add a third late on.

Having been heavily involved throughout, Carvalho was given a resounding reception from supporters as he was substituted late on for Adlène Guedioura.

(Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The 22-year-old has been a hugely popular figure among Reds supporters since joining in the summer, and many have been left frustrated by the lack of opportunities he has been given under O’Neill.

‘Made MON look really stupid’, ‘Perfection’

 

O’Neill’s side have lacked creativity and flair in recent weeks, attributes that Carvalho brings in abundance.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

The Reds find themselves sat seven points off the play-offs with two games to go. It could’ve been so much different had Carvalho been regularly involved since O’Neill’s arrival.

If the Reds are serious about challenging for promotion next season, then there’s no doubt that the £13 million magician has to be heavily involved.