Kieran Dowell has been one of the success stories in a bleak season at the City Ground so far but its time he has a break from the starting line-up.
He is currently the side’s top goal scorer in the league and across all competitions with nine and 10 goals respectively and has been one of the main creative sources going forward, but the fans haven’t seen him at his best in recent times.
Dowell has been a constant presence in the starting squad under both Mark Warburton and Aitor Karanka this campaign and has rarely seen the bench, but it may be time he spends some time there.
The 20-year-old has only made three appearances for his boyhood club, Everton, and has so far flourished under his loan move with the reds, racking up an impressive 32 appearances across all competitions but now the constant action may be taking its toll.
His worst performance so far this season came recently against Hull City at home. The Reds were beaten 2-0 at the weekend and many of the Forest faithful were not impressed with his performance. Dowell netted a hat trick against the Tigers in the reverse fixture back in October and everyone wanted to know where that player had disappeared to.
The midfielder has struggled to stamp is mark in games since the Christmas fixtures and at times has gone missing during the 90 minutes and in a team that has a relegation fight lurking in the shadows they need all the players at their best.
The Reds have lacked goals in their recent fixtures, winning only one of their last 10 league fixtures, scoring four and conceding a massive 15 goals, and have slipped down the table to 17th, and if they don’t want to repeat last season’s ending again they need to change soon.
Dowell’s current form can be excused by his age and inexperience but after seeing what he can produce fans cannot be blamed for their frustrations.
It has been proven in the past that a short break from the starting 11 can reignite a player with their full capability and kick starting them again and this will help with Dowell.
Dowell was also one of the only few options for his position during the beginning of this season but after some vast recruitment in the January transfer window there is now other talent waiting to take his spot.
New signings such as Lee Tomlin and Adlene Guedioura have the capability and the talent to fill Dowell’s boots and give a fresh new energy to the team, that they currently lack so heavily.
Another player that is worthy of a chance to step into his position is Matty Cash. The Forest academy graduate cemented himself as a starting player for the side over the last few months but on the wing.
Cash has proved countless times this season his worth to the team, with his passionate way of player and always reliable to give his all, so he deserves a chance to showcase himself in his natural position.
The 20-year-old has the pace of a natural winger but not the skills that others in that position do and would flourish in the central position. He deserves to be rewarded for his hard work and the fans will be able to see the player’s true protentional.
Cash being moved into a central role will also bring Joe Lolley into the side, another one of Karanka’s deadline day signings. He is a natural winger and has experience in the Championship, no other player in the squad has in that position.
He was signed on a four-and-a-half-year contract from Huddersfield and helped the Terriers earn promotion to the Premier League last term. The Reds haven’t seen a talented and experienced Championship winger since Michail Antonio and Lolley could be the key to any future success.