Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has hinted that Joe Worrall might not play against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow night. The 25-year-old made a surprise return to action in Sunday’s victory over Leicester City in the FA Cup.
Worrall was ruled out a couple of weeks ago with a number of cracked ribs. Cooper said after the game with Millwall in mid-January that the academy graduate would be missing for around six weeks.
As a result, it came as a pleasant surprise when Worrall was named in the team for Sunday. His heroics were evident as Forest produced a devastating display to send the holders of the competition packing.
Worrall is very much Mr Nottingham Forest. Cut him open and he will probably bleed the red and white of the football club. He cares deeply about the Reds and many believe he’s the true leader within the ranks.
Cooper, however, has dropped a hint that he won’t play in both remaining games this week. Forest head to Ewood Park tomorrow and face Stoke at the City Ground on Saturday.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “Joe played having not trained so much for the last few weeks.
“With a three-game week coming up, we’ll probably have to be careful with how he gets managed.
“One thing is Joe’s injury and then the other thing is his physical levels because he’s gone from playing a loan of games to then not doing much because of his injury.
“We’ve got a squad of players we’re working with and we’ll try to use them wisely.”
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The head coach isn’t one to give much away. He made out last week that although Worrall was champing at the bit, he would still be missing for around six weeks.
Just a few days after his press conference prior to the Leicester game, the boss was naming him among his starting eleven for a game against Premier League opposition.
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Worrall is a big player for Forest. With Lewis Grabban out injured, genuine leaders are in short supply and Cooper desperately needs his vice-captain to play.
Only time will tell whether or not Worrall gets the nod. If he doesn’t play at Blackburn, he will almost certainly get the nod for the home game with Stoke at the weekend.