Taiwo Awoniyi’s return from injury is a welcome development for Nottingham Forest, even though it came during a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield. The club plans to handle his recovery with caution to ensure he remains fit.
Awoniyi had been sidelined for the previous two matches due to a groin injury he picked up during a 1-1 draw with Brentford earlier in the month. He made his comeback as a substitute, playing for the final 20 minutes at Anfield, providing a much-needed boost for head coach Steve Cooper.
Nottingham Forest faced a severe shortage of attacking options going into the Anfield match. They were already missing Divock Origi (hip) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring), and to make matters worse, front man Chris Wood was also unavailable due to a hamstring issue, expected to sideline him for around four weeks. Consequently, the team took the field without a recognized striker.
Awoniyi’s return comes at an opportune time, but Nottingham Forest will exercise extra caution with the Nigerian forward in the lead-up to their match against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Steve Cooper, the Reds’ manager, expressed his satisfaction with Awoniyi’s appearance and his ability to finish the game unscathed. The team now has a full week of training to prepare for the upcoming match. Cooper hopes that Awoniyi will be available for the entire week of training, which would put him in a better position for the match against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Cooper acknowledged the need for careful management of Awoniyi, especially given the circumstances with Chris Wood. The player was cleared to participate in the minutes he played, even though he might have been introduced slightly earlier than originally planned. Fortunately, Awoniyi felt fine after his return, and the club aims to build on this progress during the week.