It took 15 months of hard graft and sheer determination but Britt Assombalonga 0ffered Nottingham Forest fans some much needed optimism when he fired home a 74th minute winner into the MK Dons net on Saturday afternoon.
It has been a long road back for the Forest striker - several months of physiotherapy and rehabilitation while the Reds endured their most barren spell in front of goal for several years.
Britt’s celebration was a thing of beauty at Stadium MK. It was like he had just scored the winner to fire Forest into the Premier League, not consolidate an unflattering 16th placed finish.
The ex-Peterborough United man simply lives to score goals.
Despite such a serious injury the striker has never once stopped smiling and he clearly values the concept of being a Nottingham Forest player – a trait which has been missed at times during the 2015/16 campaign.
This season could have been so much different for the Reds had Assombalonga been fit and firing and a top half finish, would have been secured at a canter in my opinion, which does offer hope for the future.
Saturday’s goal was Britt’s 16th in the league since arriving last summer and we, as supporters, can only hope that he nets several more next season to get the club back towards the higher echelons of the league table.
While I am a little bit surprised that the club are yet to make an announcement on who the manager will be next season, we can only hope that due diligence is taking place to ensure a meticulous appointment this time around.
The club simply has to get it right this time and, with the huge sums of money coming into the Premier League from next season, reaching the Promised Land is set to become even more difficult.
Gus Poyet is reportedly stalling over the wages on offer, while Nigel Pearson looks set to take over at Aston Villa, according to reports. Either of those two would excite me and give me a genuine belief that we could start to put some solid foundations in place.
There is also the matter of a chief executive and a recruitment team to put into place and I can only hope that in August, Nottingham Forest Football Club is a more structured organisation that it is at present.
It was refreshing to hear Henri Lansbury say that he wanted to discuss fresh terms at the City Ground and has no intentions of leaving to ply his trade elsewhere.
Bristol City are reportedly interested in the Forest skipper. While we are making stupid declarations, if Rita Ora is available for a date then I would be interested, but don’t tell the wife!
In all seriousness, Lansbury would be best served staying at the Reds.
I don’t believe he has performed well enough this season to warrant a move to the top flight, although he clearly has the potential to play at that level, should he be given a regular run in the team in his natural position.
Lansbury was sorely missed when he was injured for two months of the season and his range of passing is a joy to behold at times – just keep him away from those corner kicks!
With Lansbury about to enter the last year of his current deal, the new manager must sit down with the ex-Arsenal man and get fresh terms on the table, as losing him for free would be criminal.