Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton has a selection dilemma of sorts, with three experienced players vying for the final spot in the club’s 25-man squad.
Harry Arter, Michael Dawson and Fouad Bachirou have all so far been left out of the squad and whoever misses out won’t play a league game again this season.
All three have had their own injury battles this season, but considering both Arter and Bachirou signed in the summer, it once again highlights the lack of thought behind the scenes during that ill-fated window.
Speaking about the situation, Hughton explained that fitness has been a key factor in his decision making and that the door isn’t shut for these players.
“We still have a place to add somebody,” Hughton said to Nottinghamshire Live.
“The players who are in the squad are the players who have been playing and have been fit.
“We have left a spot open because of the players we have got and in a couple of those circumstances, they are players who have not been fit.
“There is still that opportunity and still something for these players to drive for.
“There is always a very good reason to fight – it’s either to make sure you are in that squad, make sure you’re in the 25 and make sure you stay in the team.
“They are all the reasons they have to fight.”
Arter hasn’t shown anything near the form that precedes his reputation in his 13 appearances, while Bachirou – signed specifically by former boss Sabri Lamouchi – has made just three appearances in all competitions.
As for Dawson, the incredibly popular academy graduate hasn’t played at all this season, but his role at the club goes beyond the pitch as he appears to be a very valued member of the coaching staff.
The registered Nottingham Forest squad is as follows: (Loic Mbe Soh and Alex Mighten don’t need to be added as they are under the age of 21)
Sammy Ameobi, Tyler Blackett, Gaetan Bong, Cyrus Christie, Jack Colback, Abdoulaye Diallo, Luke Freeman, James Garner, Lewis Grabban, Carl Jenkinson, Anthony Knockaert, Filip Krovinovic, Joe Lolley, Scott McKenna, Glenn Murray, Yuri Ribeiro, Tobias Figueiredo, Cafu, Brice Samba, Jordan Smith, Samba Sow, Lyle Taylor, Joe Worrall, Ryan Yates.
If you were Chris Hughton, who would you pick for the 25-man squad?