Five things we learned from Forest's season opener vs. Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest manager Philippe Montanier

What can we learn from the thrilling 4-3 home win for Forest over Championship newcomers Burton Albion?

Nottingham Forest have secured their first three points of the season, and at the first time of asking, in a captivating 4-3 triumph over newly-promoted Burton Albion. 

As the scoreline would suggest, the win didn't come easily in Phillipe Montanier's first competitive match in charge.

Let's take a look at five things we learned from the epic season opener at the City Ground.

1. Britt's the man 

Nottingham Forest's Britt Assombalonga scores their first goalBritt Assombalonga scores their first against Burton

With 2 well taken goals, Britt Assombalonga re-affirmed his importance to this Forest team, as the poacher that will take the responsibility for the majority of goals this season. The striker looked sharp, and if he can have a stand-out season then who knows how far Forest can go in this campaign. He missed a fair chunk of last season due to injury, but his pace ripped through the Burton backline, and eventually Assombalonga was the match winner for Forest. 

 2. Right hand side looking strong? 

Nottingham Forest's Oliver Burke celebrates scoring their third goalOliver Burke celebrates scoring Forest's third goal

Assombalonga may have been yesterday's match winner for Forest, but Oliver Burke could certainly claim to be the man of the match at the City Ground. Burke was a constant threat throughout the 90 minutes, and scored a well-taken goal which his efforts fully deserved. Equally as impressive was new right-back signing Hildeberto Pereira, on loan from Benfica. Solid defensively, but full of running in order to contribute to attack as well, and his willingness to get up and down the right wing to link up with Burke is what's quickly turning him into a fan favourite at Forest. 

 3. Burton not just here to take part 

Burton Albion's Hamza Choudhury in action with Nottingham Forest's Matthew CashBurton Albion's Hamza Choudhury in action with Nottingham Forest's Matthew Cash

A word on the opposition, as is only fair after a closely fought game such as this one - and newly re-signed Hamza Choudhury's sizey afro was not the only impressive aspect to this Burton Albion side, who ran Forest very close in yesterday's game and could have won themselves a point in the dying seconds. If anyone had doubts about how Brian Clough's side might fare this season, then they should be more optimistic after watching their first stab at Championship football. This team looks young, energetic, and very together. Expect some eye-catching performances from them as the season goes on. 

 4. Defensive worries? 

Nottingham Forest's Thomas Lam celebrates scoring their second goalForest's Thomas Lam celebrates scoring their second goal

Despite new signing Thomas Lam's goal in yesterday's game, the Forest defensive line needs more game time to get up to speed. Yesterday they looked disorganised at times and lacked perhaps a bit of leadership in a largely new defensive unit. Montanier will hope that any frailties can be patched up quickly, before the season starts in earnest and Forest face tougher opponents. The manager will be looking to captain Henri Lansbury to provide more cover for the back four. 

5. Blooding the youngsters

Burton Albion's Chris O'Grady in action with Nottingham Forest's Patjim KasamiBurton Albion's Chris O'Grady tussles with Forest's Patjim Kasami

One thing supporters at the City Ground will be extremely pleased with from yesterday's game was the number of young players that Monatanier gave the chance to impress. With a starting eleven that had an average age of just 23, including 5 players that have been brought through the ranks by the club. This is an exciting side that can grow together and go on to challenge for promotion from the championship, if not this season then in the coming years. Montanier will be hoping that the young nucleus of his squad buy into his long-term project at the club.  

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