The majority of the Nottingham Forest squad have been in training this week as Chris Hughton’s side prepare for Saturday’s clash with Barnsley and a short trip up the M1 in a bid for more vital Championship points.
The likes of Cyrus Christie, Harry Arter, Tendayi Darikwa and Nicholas Ioannou all return from international duty with Chris Hughton stating the side have a clean bill of health, saying “most of them played and all now back in good shape.”
Hughton said of the international break it’s been “useful as regards with working with the players that are still here but also it’s given everybody that recovery time they need, not only players but the staff as well, and it allows us to assess, because the games come so thick and fast – the hardest part is to prepare for a game, play the game, then re-visit, and what you usually find yourself doing is very quickly having to move on to the next game, so you don’t really give yourself as much time as you would like evaluating what you did well or what you didn’t do well in the last game.”
“the balance is getting some good training days in, doing some specific work what you would like them to do, but very much bringing their loads down and giving them some time off too because not all would have played matches whilst some would have played all seven.”
On asked how the first seven games have gone for Hughton in charge of Nottingham Forest he said “probably exactly how I thought they would be, some aspects I’ve really been pleased with, the disappointments we’ve had three draws and one of those games we certainly should have won which would have been extra points to put us in a better position and losing the way we did at Middlesbrough, but overall quite happy, but certainly areas we can improve on.”
The Reds travel to Barnsley tomorrow who are sixteenth in the division and Hughton said “I expect a very tough game” continuing “the things we have learned this season more than any other season in fact, is the unpredictability of this division, it’s very hard to call results, anybody can beat anybody and they’ve been in good form Barnsley, they’re playing a way that suits the players that they have got, a very effective way that they play, and the results that they’ve got means it’s a very tough game and we have to take it the same as every other game.”
Forest will be without Joe Worrall, Tyler Blackett, Fouad Bachirou and Lewis Grabban through injury whilst Barnsley will be missing Romal Palmer, Ben Williams and Jordan Williams from their squad.
The Tykes beat Derby last time out 2-0 at Pride Park and have lost just one of their last seven matches under Valerien Ismael whilst Forest themselves have lost just once under Chris Hughton with successive wins in their last two outings for the first time since beating Huddersfield and Bristol City over the summer last season.
Kick off is at 3pm at Oakwell with the match screened live on iFollow.
*Main image @NFFC Reds Manager Chris Hughton expects a tough game on Saturday.