Aston Villa player ratings v Nottingham Forest: Sinclair the star, Cole impresses

Nottingham Forest Stadium Outside

Scott Sinclair bagged a hat-trick as Tim Sherwood's side were held to a 3-3 draw at Forest in their final pre-season encounter.

Mark Bunn 6.5/10 – The three goals were more the fault of his defence, as the former Norwich keeper made some decent stops and proved strong in the air.

Jose Angelo Crespo 5/10 – Looked off the pace during his first half-hour in a Villa shirt before having to go off after taking a knock to his right knee. All in all, not a great debut.

Micah Richards 6.5/10 – Has to take some blame for Dexter Blackstock’s first-minute opener after losing his man in the build-up but was otherwise solid during his 45-minute run-out. Marshalled the backline well in his role as skipper, too.

Ciaran Clark 6/10 – Also fell asleep on the opener but improved from there to put in a decent first-half performance.

Jordan Amavi 6.5/10 – Looked excellent going forward once again, delivering an amazing cross for Sinclair’s 21st-minute equaliser. His defending on this occasion, however, was suspect at best.

Leandro Bacuna 6/10 – Far from awful but just doesn’t seem to be able to provide the same kind of attacking impact on the wing as at right-back. Crossing left a lot to be desired, too.

Idrissa Gueye 7/10 – Known more for his defensive qualities back in France but movement and passing in the attacking third was excellent. If he can add goals to his game, £9 million will be a real bargain.

Ashley Westwood 7/10 – Understated as ever but hard to pick holes in his performance. Did his job covering the back four well and impressed with his passing – just like in all his other pre-season outings.

Scott Sinclair 8.5/10 – Netted his first two goals thanks to an Amavi cross and Joe Cole through ball, respectively, before completing his hat-trick just after the hour with a stunning 25-yard strike. A sign of things to come this season?

Jordan Ayew 6/10 – A bit of a quiet afternoon but had two decent attempts on goal and made a nuisance of himself with his off-the-ball movement.

Libor Kozak 5/10 – Has had a great pre-season overall but this was perhaps his weakest outing. A bit of a passenger before being replaced at the break.

SUBSTITUTES

Alan Hutton (Crespo 34) 6/10 – Solid enough both going forward and in defence. As much as some fans might not like it, he’s still the club best option at right-back.

Carlos Sanchez (Richards 46) 5/10 – Played out of position at centre-back and, unsurprisingly, didn’t look too comfortable.

Nathan Baker (Clark 46) 5/10 – No idea what he was attempting to do on Forest’s last-gasp corner but it resulted in Kelvin Wilson’s equaliser. Not how he would have wanted to mark his new contract.

Jordan Veretout (Gueye 46) 6/10 – Looked a bit sluggish at times but can’t blame him when he just arrived at the club 24 hours earlier.

Joe Cole (Kozak 46) 7/10 – Sinclair aside, he was Villa’s star performer of the second-half. Set up his fellow attacker’s second and created a few more chances with some excellent passes. Fitness providing, he could be set to make a bigger impact than anticipated this season.

Lewis Kinsella (Sinclair 70) 5/10 – The left-back was fortunate not to have been punished soon after coming on when Forest winger Jamie Ward left him on his backside before firing a weak shot at Bunn.

Callum Robinson (Bacuna 70) 6/10 – A bright 20-minute cameo but had no real scoring chances.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch