Lewis Grabban put in the kind of performance for Nottingham Forest against Swansea which proves why he is so important to the side.

Did he cover every blade of grass at the Liberty Stadium? No, but he didn’t need to.

Rather than run himself into the ground, the 31-year-old sprang to life when the Reds needed him most.

Which is, after all, his job!

There has been plenty of criticism aimed at the experienced frontman during his time at the City Ground.

For some, he doesn’t work hard enough.

There have even been suggestions that he doesn’t smile enough!

Kenny Burns rather infamously said in the Nottingham Post back in August, when the summer transfer window was still open: “Grabban doesn’t do enough and his work rate must frustrate other players in the dressing room, because I’ll tell you one thing, if I was playing with him, he’d know my feelings without any shadow of a doubt.

“Grabban may have scored 17 in his first campaign at the City Ground, but I’ve seen nothing from him during pre-season which fills me with any confidence – this is something I’ve been saying for a period, it’s time to get rid.”

Advice

Original Image: Nottingham Forest/Graphic Design: Beth Davenport

Forest didn’t heed that advice.

Sabri Lamouchi has instead kept Grabban as the focal point of his attack.

The Reds boss has spoken of needing to put his most potent attacking weapon in the fridge in order to keep him fresh.

There is still concern when it comes to back-up options.

For now, though, Grabban is leading the line and doing just fine.

His performance against Swansea deserved more than it got.

He will feel disappointed not to have added to his tally of four goals this season, having seen one effort ruled out in South Wales and another cannon back off the crossbar.

Grabban did, however, make a telling contribution.

Effort

 

And did so when displaying the kind of effort and strong running that he is apparently so averse to.

It was he who carried the ball from halfway to the byline, shrugging off a defender on the way, before teeing up Alfa Semedo for the match-winner.

He still had enough in the tank to make that burst because he doesn’t tire himself chasing lost causes.

Grabban did, however, prove how important he can be when used in the right way.

More touches were taken in by Forest’s No.7 (32) against Swansea than Semedo (22), Joe Lolley (23) and Albert Adomah (26) managed – albeit he did spend longer on the field.

Get the ball to him in the right areas of the field and he can contribute significantly.

That is the point plenty have been trying to hammer home to the detractors for some time.

On his day, and with the right service, Grabban remains as good as anybody in the Championship.

He showed as much against Swansea and long may that continue!