Barrie Mckay has struggled to cement himself in the Nottingham Forest match day squad since November and it may be time to start reintroducing him to the team.
The Scottish maverick became a firm fans favourite when he arrived Trent Side last summer, but his relationship has soon deteriorated with the fans.
Mckay netted five times for his side during the first half of the season and his magic feet were often setting up his teammates in front of goal but has since slipped into the City Ground shadow.
Mckay hadn’t made an appearance for the Reds since the 30th January and had since lost his place on the bench but was a surprise inclusion for the Good Friday’s fixture against Millwall.
The Reds number 10 had featured several times for the academy’s under-23 side has he waited for his chance for the senior side again and has re-found his relationship with the back of net. Adding to the argument that it may be time for Aitor Karanka to bring him back into the fold.
Forest have dried up in front of goal over the recent few fixtures and have struggled to find the back of the net in their past three games with the current attack struggling to even hit their shots on target. So, a slight adjustment to the attacking force may help overcome the drought.
Matty Cash and Joe Lolley have taken the key winger roles as their own over the past few weeks and have produced a handful of contributions in front of goal but if the past three games are any indication, fresh, new legs may be needed.
Both Cash and Lolley are key players for the team for their energetic pace that can surge the team forward in times where other legs are giving but lack something special that Mckay can give, skill.
Mckay’s trickery feet is something that can allow Forest stand out above other side’s, as a talented football magician is often hard to come by and Forest have one waiting in the wings.
Kieran Dowell has also struggled to re-find his impressive form from the start of the season for the Reds so another place in the side may open for Mckay to slip himself back into the team.
Mckay’s attitude has often come into question over the recent months and Karanka may just be the correct manager to change that for him.
Karanka was introduced as the new Forest boss in January and quickly got about laying out a new regime which has heavily had its influence over the side.
The players have sharpened up and Karanka has proven how ruthless he can be in terms of team selection and minutes they get to spend on the field so Mckay could quickly be straightened out.
Friday’s game against Millwall may have ended in a loss, with Mckay totalling up 55 minutes for the side, but it doesn’t heavily dampen the argument that he shouldn’t feature in future match day squads.
With the addition of nine new January signings, five of which that are regulars in the match day side, Mckay may need time to adjust to his new surroundings and formations.
The Scotsman was brought to the City Ground by previous manager Mark Warburton and after being dropped from the team in December may need even more game time to adjust and familiarise himself with Karanka’s own tactics and plays.