Date: 14th February 2019 at 7:00am
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Joao Carvalho was an unused substitute as Nottingham Forest played out a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion. The 21-year-old was left on the bench as his replacement, Ryan Yates, delivered a man-of-the-match performance. Carvalho’s form dipped in December 2018, with the midfielder failing to score or make an assist since November 28, and it’s now cost him his place in the starting eleven.

Carvalho had kept his place in the starting eleven despite his form spiralling, but now Yates has taken his chance to impress with both hands. It’s hard to see Martin O’Neill taking the Englishman out of the side for Saturday’s trip to Preston North End, Carvalho might have to be patient for another opportunity. Goals were an issue weeks ago, but Forest have scored two or more in three of their last four games.

While the Reds are picking up results, O’Neill is unlikely to tinker with the side. Carvalho hasn’t been firing for more than two months either, so why would he be brought back into the fray? The worry is that Forest paid £13m to procure his signature last summer and haven’t got their money’s worth. Can he turn things around this season?

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

‘Impeccable’, ‘Top performance’ – some fans laud Nottingham Forest defender after WBA draw

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