Nottingham Forest boss Chris Hughton gave his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s game with Sheffield Wednesday and some intriguing comments emerged.
His comments on Tobias Figueiredo, in particular, probably won’t go down too well with supporters.
Hughton was quizzed on Loic Mbe Soh and his lack of game time since he arrived at the City Ground.
The ex-PSG defender is yet to feature under the new boss with Figueiredo often preferred in defence.
Figueiredo has looked out sorts for months but Hughton has stuck with him.
Bizarrely it seems as though the Reds incumbent has been happy with his performances too.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “He’s definitely one for the future, but that certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t one for now.
“He’s a little bit frustrated that he’s not been involved
“Loic has been in an unfortunate position that he’s had centre-halves in front of him who have been quite consistent and that is a position you don’t want to change too much.”
Scott McKenna has arguably been Forest’s best player this season and his loss is a blow.
Academy graduate Joe Worrall is another player who Forest see as a big player and his return to the team was always a given.
To suggest Figueiredo has been ‘quite consistent’, however, is just bizarre.
What has gone wrong for the Portuguese defender?
Quite frankly, nobody is certain.
It was reported in the summer that the 26-year-old held a desire to return to Portugal.
He didn’t play in Sabri Lamouchi’s last two games and it seemed as though he’d leave before the window closed.
He didn’t and in Hughton’s first game at Blackburn he was a surprise name on the team-sheet.
A couple of steady games followed but since then he has been nothing short of calamitous at times.
There is clearly some sort of confidence crisis and the challenge for Hughton is to get Figueiredo snapped out of it.
In recent weeks, Figueiredo has cost Forest goals against Swansea, Reading and on Saturday against Brentford.
Supporters have been crying out for Mbe Soh or Michael Dawson to get a chance and tonight they will get their wish.
Hughton’s comments suggest that he’s been happy with Figueiredo’s performances and with that in mind he’ll likely be straight back in against Millwall at the weekend.
When McKenna is fit he looks like a natural partner for Worrall and with Hughton appearing to back Figueiredo, the Scotsman’s return can’t come soon enough.