Date: 14th March 2019 at 10:00am
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Nottingham Forest midfielder Pele underperformed as his side fell short to Aston Villa on Wednesday night and incurred the wrath of some supporters on social media as result. The 27-year-old impressed on Saturday against Hull City but couldn’t follow up the winning performance in midweek.

Martin O’Neill named an unchanged midfield trio of Pele, Jack Colback and Ryan Yates, but they were second-best at the City Ground and struggled to get a foothold. Pele made 39 touches, 34 passes with 71% accuracy, one tackle and won one aerial duel.

The on-loan midfielder gave away three fouls, failed to make an interception and didn’t create a chance. He was eventually hauled off by O’Neill in the 70th minute for Adlene Guedioura, but Forest couldn’t get themselves back into the game.

Pele has made two appearances for the Reds since his January-move from AS Monaco and may not retain his place in the engine room for Saturday’s trip to Ipswich Town. With Ben Watson, Guedioura, Claudio Yacob and Liam Bridcutt waiting in the wings, O’Neill has plenty of midfield options to call upon.

Forest will be desperate to bounce back for the sake of their promotion hopes. They finished Wednesday evening three points adrift of the top-six with nine games to go.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article

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