Alex McLeish believes Andy Reid’s experience could prove invaluable in his future plans for Nottingham Forest.The Irishman scored and produced a ‘Man of the Match’ display as McLeish’s managerial reign got off to an encouraging start with a 2-2 home draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Reds will be looking to launch 2013 in positive fashion when they travel to face Blackburn at Ewood Park on New Year’s Day (kick-off 3pm).
And McLeish is backing Reid to continue to have a big influence on his younger Reds’ team-mates.
“Andy is a quality player, as he showed on Saturday,” asserted McLeish. “He has played international football and spent several years in the Premier League and has the kind of experience that is invaluable.
“We will rely heavily on Andy and the other experienced guys to help the young lads at the club.
“He just oozes quality and even in difficult conditions on Saturday he showed his class.”
McLeish also recognises the importance of the squad he has at his disposal as he looks to maintain Forest’s promotion challenge.
He added: “There are players in our dressing room who think they should be starting the game, those guys coming off the bench and those not even in the 18.
“It pleases me if players are unhappy at not starting games, but if the lads who do get a chance to play continue to perform at the level they did on Saturday it will give me a problem.”
McLeish hopes Alan Hutton will be available for the trip to Blackburn after he missed the Palace game through illness.