Claudio Yacob has found first-team opportunities to be limited since Martin O’Neill’s arrival at Nottingham Forest.
He has played just 91 minutes of football under the Northern Irishman so far. He hasn’t even featured in the matchday squad in the last five games.
There have been questions raised about the midfielder’s fitness. But O’Neill recently told the Nottingham Post that he isn’t struggling with an injury.
He said: “He does not have an injury problem.
“I have a lot of time for him. I have a lot of time for him as a person and as a footballer. And he reminded me the other day that he is not as old as I thought he was.
“He is a terrific lad and a superb influence around the place as well. He is naturally very disappointed that he has not been on the scene for a little while.”
The 31-year-old midfielder must be frustrated by his lack of opportunities recently.
Having signed for the Reds on a free transfer, it didn’t take him long to show the City Ground his qualities. He looked to be the sort of player that the Reds haven’t had at their disposal for years.
The Reds have often been accused of being too easy to beat. With both Yacob and Jack Colback sat in front of the back four, they became the complete opposite under the management of Aitor Karanka.
It took him a while to regain his fitness, but once he did, Yacob became one of the first names on the teamsheet at one stage.
Yacob can count himself unlucky for being at his best in an area of the pitch where the Reds have a wealth of options.
O’Neill has favoured the likes of Colback, Ryan Yates, Ben Watson, Adlène Guedioura, and most recently Pelé, to the Argentinian. But that doesn’t mean that he is totally out of the picture.
O’Neill told the Nottingham Post: “I am not making any promises, but, for the run-in after the international break, I am hoping he will be back in the fold again.
“When Claudio came on as a substitute against Wigan and conceded the penalty, I told him that he would never have done that for West Brom – he would have guided the player out.
“I think he felt that he was not going to play again, because of that one incident. But that was not the case. There are other players who I felt that were in front of him, at this minute.”