Nottingham Forest secured a 1-1 draw in their latest pre-season friendly game last night, with a gutsy performance against Doncaster Rovers.
Chris Burke grabbed Forest’s only goal of the game with a superb individual effort, which will give him plenty of confidence with the return of the Championship season now just over two weeks away.
The 31-year-old midfielder has a big role to play in the side over the next ten to eleven months and his experience is going to prove to be a valuable commodity for the team.
Freedman hasn’t been able to sign the volume of new players that some of his rivals can, which means he’s relying on the options he’s already got to step up and make the difference during big games.
Burke can be influential in terms of his experience, keeping everyone in the squad grounded if the club gets off to a good start or motivating them to excel themselves if the club goes through a difficult early patch of form.
Pre-season is a period which is less about results and more about players improving their confidence and raising their fitness levels ahead of more intense and high paced action.
Burke ticked both of those boxes last night and his challenge over the next couple of weeks will be to maintain his momentum and keep his performances moving in the right direction, building each time.
Freedman could well already have an idea over the sort of team he wants to take into the match against Brighton, and Burke needs to give himself the best possible chance of ensuring that his name is down on the team sheet.
Burke can be a key player, a leader and an example in Nottingham Forest’s midfield. Here’s what Forest fans on Twitter made of Burke’s performance and goal.
Burke's equaliser earlier was unreal. For 45 seconds he turned into the Scottish and ginger ronaldo #nffc— Thomas Tutin (@Thomas_NFFC_T) July 22, 2015
Pato was on fire tonight, Mills looked comfortable, Burke & Taylor bullied defenders on several occasions... The rest were average #NFFC— Craskey. (@CraskeyNFFC) July 21, 2015
Burke's goal reminds me of his one against Blackpool at the start of last season. Hopefully he'll save some for the league. #nffc— Mark O`Brien (@HoH_NFFC) July 21, 2015
Chris Burke— Jack (@JackCarra_nffc) July 21, 2015
Keeping my eye on the forest and goal machine Chris Burke #nffc— @forest4eversteve (@biltonsteve) July 21, 2015