João Carvalho made his first Championship appearance of the season on Saturday, after missing the start of the campaign through injury.
Nottingham Forest ended the first month of the 2019/20 Championship campaign at the weekend with a 1-1 draw against Preston North End at the City Ground.
The Reds have enjoyed a promising start to the season, perhaps better than expected following another turbulent summer full of comings and goings. Sabri Lamouchi has certainly stamped his authority on proceedings quicker than many expected.
Carvalho made his first appearance of the season last week against Derby County in the Carabao Cup, and it didn’t take long for him to make an impact. He came on as a substitute for Brennan Johnson in the 57th minute, before scoring Forest’s third goal of the night in the 79th minute.
Lamouchi gave the £13 million midfielder another opportunity to step up his return to full match fitness at the weekend. He came on in place of Ben Watson in the 68th minute with the Reds trailing.
Once again, the 22-year-old was able to make an impact on proceedings. He played a delightful ball through to Albert Adomah in the latter stages, which the Ghanaian expertly fired into the bottom corner.
There’s no doubt that picking up a goal and assist in his first two appearances of the season will have given the midfielder plenty of confidence. He missed a large chunk of pre-season after picking up an ankle injury against Alfreton Town in June.
Lamouchi may be tempted to name him in the starting line-up against Swansea City after the international break.
Supporters took to Twitter after the game to hail Carvalho, describing him as a ‘hero’ and a ‘genius’.
Tough game today. Preston were well organised. Again Lamouchi got the subs right, Sow was immense and was the difference between us getting a point and not today. Joao Carvalho is my hero. lolley looks like he’s injured or unfit. Not the same player. Good first month 👍 #NFFC
— Nicky Long (@Nicky_Long) August 31, 2019
I’m actually amazed that a few of our fans don’t rate Carvalho. I know it’s all opinion based, I think he’s a genius. Maybe it’s me #nffc
— Brummie Tricky 🌳 (@BrummieTricky) August 31, 2019
carvalho with a goal and assist in his first 60 minutes of football back fit. imagine my shock
— Jack (@Inthetop1_nffc) August 31, 2019
No carvalho no goal, simple #nffc
— Fish (@JesseAbbiss) August 31, 2019
Carvalho goal and assist in 60 mins in the last 2 games , shows what a miss he has been #nffc
— Josh Goodwin (@JoshAgoodwin) August 31, 2019
— Chris Pearson🏴 (@ChrisPe95168251) August 31, 2019