Nottingham Forest should be willing to take a calculated risk on Joe Lolley when they head to Fulham on Saturday.

That outing will be taken in three days after a contest across the capital at Charlton.

The Reds are moving from south to west London.

And will be doing so looking to ease Lolley back into the fold.

A talismanic figure was left nursing a foot complaint at The Valley and was as big a miss as you would expect.

Forest, at least for the opening 45 minutes, looked lost at times against the Addicks.

Nobody could offer an out ball or the composure to keep possession and earn a breather.

Lolley offers those qualities.

If in doubt, give him the ball – wind him up and watch him go!

The mercurial winger is capable of driving the Reds forward and delivering those moments of magic which inspire confidence in those around him.

Impression

Original Image: NFFC/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Sammy Ameobi filled in against Charlton.

If that was his best Lolley impression, then he needs to go back to the drawing board.

The former Newcastle and Bolton man has been bright through the opening weeks of his time on Trentside.

He was bleak in midweek.

Yes, he could have won a penalty, but could just have easily been dismissed.

Albert Adomah, who will feel a little hard by not to get a nod with Lolley sidelined, was required to dig Forest out of a hole.

The shovel will hopefully be passed back to No. 23 at the weekend.

Lamouchi told the Nottingham Post when asked for an update on Lolley: “Before Birmingham he took a knock, but he played very well.

“But for three days it was difficult for him to walk, let alone run. He didn’t make training with us.

“He was much better today, but not enough to play.

“Yes, of course he is here and in my thoughts (for Saturday) – but not only him, the whole squad because we need to be all together for the next three days.”

Priority

 

Forest have to roll the dice at Craven Cottage.

Even if that potentially means having to rest Lolley again for a League Cup clash with Derby.

Points in the Championship have to be the priority.

And away from home against an in-form side, the Reds are going to need all the help they can get.

Lolley may not be able to make it through 90 minutes, but maybe he can.

He is, with Joao Carvalho nursing his way back from injury, still the man with the X factor.

With that in mind, he needs to be managed carefully.

No unnecessary gamble should be taken on his fitness.

If he is anywhere close to 100 per cent, though, then he will slot straight back in.

It is a no-brainer of a selection call and one that Lamouchi will know he is expected to make as Forest remain in search of that elusive consistency.