‘It was football to make the heart soar’ – five talking points from Nottingham Forest’s 4-0 rout of QPR


Nottingham Forest put in a sensational performance as they routed QPR 4-0 at the City Ground and edged closer to the Championship play-off places.

Sarah Clapson looks at five things we learned from the Reds’ thumping victory.

1. Terrific Tyler deserved his chance

Questions have been asked about Tyler Walker before, with some debating whether he had the attributes to make it at the City Ground.

Even after impressing as a substitute in recent games, there were those who doubted he could do the same from a starting spot.

But the 21-year-old striker answered any critics in emphatic fashion. Not only did he take his two goals superbly, he also contributed well throughout.

Manager Mark Warburton has previously said Walker had caught the eye in training and just needed to wait for his opportunity. On Saturday he got it. And he took it.

Tyler Walker goes through to put the Reds one up against QPR

2. When Forest get it right…

…They are unplayable. Some of the football they produced against QPR was astonishingly good and fantastic to watch.

We’ve seen glimpses before of what they can do and the way Warburton wants to play, but here it was on show in all its glory.

Aside from the opening few minutes, when they were on the back foot, this was pretty much a complete performance.

Kieran Dowell in action against QPR

The Reds absolutely ripped Rangers to shreds at times with their passing moves. It was football to make the heart soar.

3. A word on the defence, too

Not only was this a standout afternoon’s work in an attacking sense, at the back Forest were also steadfast.

Clean sheets haven’t come around too often this season, so this one deserves celebrating.

Michael Mancienne and Joe Worrall were in fine form at the heart of the defence, while Eric Lichaj looked more comfortable being restored to his favoured right-back position.

Nottingham Forest’s Joe Worrall

Goalkeeper Jordan Smith was a spectator for long periods of the game, but he kept his wits about him and did what was necessary when he was needed.

Considering the visitors had looked sharp and dangerous in the opening minutes, this game could have panned out very differently had the Reds not been strong early on.

4. Consistency will be key

Warburton’s side showed just how good they can be. But as impressive as they were on Saturday, just a few days earlier they had been equally abysmal.

You would have thought that first half display at Reading on Tuesday night belonged to a different team, such was the contrast.

If Forest are to keep climbing the table and maintain an upward curve, they need to stop swinging from one extreme to the other.

In part, that comes with the territory – they are still a club in transition, and one which only narrowly avoided relegation last term.

But few sides would be able to contain them in the form they were in on Saturday. The challenge now is to produce that more regularly.

Jordan Smith claims the ball under pressure

5. The kids are allright

On a similar note, the fact that Forest side was packed with youth offers much hope going forward.

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You’d like to think this team can only keep getting better – and if so, then that consistency in results and performances will eventually come.

Their goalscorers against Rangers were all under the age of 23 – Walker (21), Kieran Dowell (20) and Barrie McKay (22). Then you had the likes of Smith, Worrall and Ben Osborn also in the XI.

Warburton has got a good balance of raw talent and experience in the squad as a whole. That bodes well for the progress this side can make.



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