Nottingham Forest: Gary Birtles urges Steve Cooper to give Sam Surridge a chance

Image for Nottingham Forest: Gary Birtles urges Steve Cooper to give Sam Surridge a chance

Former Nottingham Forest player Garry Birtles believes that Sam Surridge may deserve a run in Steve Cooper’s side after the international break.

Birtles was speaking on the Garibaldi Red Podcast, following Forest’s 3-2 Premier League home defeat to Fulham last Friday.

After a difficult start to their first Premier League campaign in 22 years, Cooper’s side currently sit 19th in the Premier League table, having won just one game from seven to start the season.

Despite making 48 appearances in spells with Stoke City and Forest last season, Surridge has only started one game this season in the league for Forest. 

And Birtles sees no reason as to why the 24-year-old wouldn’t be able to transfer his impressive Championship goalscoring form into the Premier League if given the opportunity.

“One person you’ve not mentioned who I thought caused problems for them [Fulham] when he came on was Sam Surridge,” Birtles told the Garibaldi Red Podcast.

“I thought he was a nuisance. I thought he was a pest. I thought he was making decent runs, he was stretching their defenders really well.

“You know his energy’s never been in doubt. His work rate has never been in doubt. And I think that upsets defenders, well I know it does because I did that, you know, I always closed defenders down That was my job, put pressure on them to try and force a mistake and I thought he did particularly well when he came on. So, there’s another option for you.

“We know he can finish if he gets the opportunity, just because we’re in the Premier League doesn’t mean he’s not going to finish as well as he did in the Championship. If a chance has come your way, and he finishes like he did, you know, you’ve got an opportunity there.” 

TIF Thoughts on Birtles’ comments

We can see why Birtles wouldn’t be offended to see Surridge in the club’s starting line-up for a run of Premier League games, after the Slough-born striker scored eight goals and provided two assists in 23 Forest appearances last season (via Transfermarkt).

As well as this, the former England U21 international has already scored two goals this season, having scored a brace in a 3-0 win at Grimsby Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup. 

However, with the club having shelved out a reported £17m on Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi, who has scored two Premier League goals this season, we might have to wait to see Surridge given a run of games in the top-flight for now.

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