Alex Smithies

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The consistency of City’s ‘keeper was been a feature of team performances. If only outfield players could reach similar levels. Forest did not put many shots on target, but did produced a couple of good saves. Had no chance for the goal 6

Dion Sanderson

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Can feel satisfied with his debut at right-back. A 20-year-old, on loan from Wolves, who slotted into the back four well and grew into the game. Selected ahead of Jazz Richards and his partnership with Junior Hoilett showed good signs. The Harris verdict: ‘Dion was excellent, playing with character and heart. This was his league debut and I’m chuffed for him. Athletic, composed on the ball and willing to get forward. He should be a proud young man.” 6

Curtis Nelson

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Learning his Championship craft alongside composed captain Morrison. The partnership has long-term potential. Nelson is quick, decisive and making progress. There are areas in which he needs to improve and conceded possession at times, but he has the look of a player with a solid playing future 6

Sean Morrison (capt)

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A rock at the heart of defence. It’s good to see the skipper regaining form and producing consistently solid performances 6

Joe Bennett

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Willing to put his body on the line and block shots for City, but they were moments when he struggled defensively. One sloppy header allowed Forest to carve out a big chance and it was fortunate Lewis Grabban’s shot flew wide 5

Junior Hoilett

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Called in to link with Sanderson on the right. That partnership developed as the game went on, but Canadian winger Hoilett struggled to find his best form. Just after the hour a Vaulks’ cross from the right flank picked out Hoilett near the back post, but he volleyed wide 5

Will Vaulks – Man of the Match

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I love the tenacious nature of his game, both verbally and physically. We didn’t see enough of Vaulks before Neil Harris took charge, but he’s been given the chance to shine for the Bluebirds 7

Marlon Pack

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A crucial player in midfield. Has genuine Championship experience and quality, while he stays calm in all situations. Another player, though, who slipped below his best for the Forest match. Made way for Joe Ralls on 71 minutes 5

Robert Glatzel

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We still haven’t seen the best of Glatzel, but, to be fair, the service he is given was poor against Forest. There were moments of quality and he worked hard, but needed support. One of three changes to the starting line-up, along with with Sanderson and Hoilett 5

Josh Murphy

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Yes, it was a penalty when the winger was tripped by Matty Cash. Referee Steve Martin said no, but he was wrong. Media pundits and former Cardiff players Jobi McAnuff and Danny Gabbidon agreed, insisting: “It should have been a spot-kick.” That was a turning point,  but overall Murphy’s performance was poor. He gave the ball away far too often and his delivery was well below par. Many home supporters let Murphy know how they felt with a sarcastic reaction when he was replaced by Danny Ward 4

Callum Paterson

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What on earth was his clash with Leandro Bacuna all about? Manager Neil Harris put it down to ‘passion’, adding ‘Pato and Leo have come into the changing room cuddling through the door’ and denied there is a rift or any long-term ill feeling. The two players squared up on the pitch and Bacuna seemed to grab at Paterson’s throat. Overall, Paterson was below par. The sparkle has gone out his game and he need to regain energy, commitment and, yes, passion 5

Substitutes:

Neil Etheridge (gk)

Not used

Danny Ward (for Murphy 71)

Joe Ralls (for Pack 71)

Leandro Bacuna (Dion Sanderson 81)

Aden Flint

Not used

Gavin Whyte

Not used

Brad Smith

Not used

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Ribeiro, Figueiredo, Worrall, Grabban, Watson, Cash, Ameobi (Diakhaby 81), Yates (Semedo 46), Lolley, Silva (Walker 90+1). Subs not used: Muric, Carvalho, Jenkinson, Dawson

Referee: Steve Martin

Attendance: 21,273