Monday, April 22, 2024

Nuno Espirito Santo talks up Morgan Gibbs-White after impressive performance

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Apr 2024

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Nuno Espirito Santo hailed the importance of Morgan Gibbs-White after he inspired Nottingham Forest to a vital 3-1 win over Fulham.

Gibbs-White put in a virtuoso display in a golden first half which saw Forest cruise into a 3-0 lead.

After setting up Callum Hudson-Odoi’s opener, he watched as Chris Wood made it 2-0 before completing the scoring with a fine finish on the stroke of half-time.

“Morgan is a very special player for us,” the Portuguese said.

“Very important, talented, the work rate on the pitch, but to allow Morgan to have these moments a lot of things happen behind, hard work by the boys and this is very important.”

That sublime opening 45 minutes laid the foundations for just a second league win of 2024 for Forest and the first since they were deducted four points for breaking the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules last month.

That opened up a three-point gap over Luton, who occupy 18th position and visit title-chasing Arsenal on Wednesday night, but Nuno is not getting carried away.

“Of course I am pleased, I am pleased with the performance, it was a good one, much improvement from previous games,” he said.

“After the points deduction it was very important we had some urgency of getting some good results. It’s what we fight for, it’s about points and we need them desperately.

“With all the noise that’s going on around us, it’s very hard to keep that togetherness. But the credit goes to the players because they are sticking with their tasks.

“We know it was important for us today, but let’s not get over the moon. There is still a long way to go.”

Forest had to endure a nervy time as Tosin Adarabioyo’s header gave Fulham a lifeline and the visitors spent most of the second half knocking on the door.

The Cottagers needed a late comeback to earn a point at bottom-placed Sheffield United on Saturday but they could not repeat the feat here as they paid the price for a shambolic opening half-hour.

Fulham boss Marco Silva, who made a triple substitution after 33 minutes, said: “Bad performance, disappointing evening for us, really disappointing result. When you don’t start the game the way you should of course you are going to get punished.

“In the first half we didn’t play, we were there but we didn’t play. We weren’t there, we didn’t do what we planned, we were so, so slow.

“We were not aggressive, the will was not there and this is the first time since this long journey started in 2021 that this has happened.

“Football is to play from the first minute not just the second half. When I made the triple change, at that moment the team needed much more changes than three.

“Overall we were not playing, as a collective we were not there. It is important to say it wasn’t the fault of the three at all. It was a tactical change.”

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