Sean O’Driscoll is hoping competition for places at the back will help rid his Nottingham Forest side of their ‘Achilles heel’.The return to fitness of Greg Halford and Daniel Ayala has added to O’Driscoll’s defensive resources ahead of tomorrow’s date with Brighton at The Amex Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
The Reds boss has been forced to chop and change his back line so far this season due to injuries and suspensions, which has had a detrimental effect on their performances.
But with Halford and Ayala having joined the likes of Danny Collins, Elliott Ward, Alan Hutton, Dan Harding and Brendan Moloney in the battle for defensive recognition, O’Driscoll is hoping for an upturn in fortunes.
He told us: “We’ve got genuine competition for places now and hopefully that will breed better performances.
“The back line has been our Achilles heel all season. Firstly trying to put one together quickly and then trying to keep one together with injuries and suspensions and loss of form.
“It’s something we’ve yet to resolve but to have competition for places, albeit not in every position, gives us the opportunity to make us stronger.”
Halford and Ayala will make the trip to Brighton but Forest will still be without Sam Hutchinson (knee) and Jermaine Jenas (calf).
Striker Simon Cox, who has made a quicker than expected recovery from a foot injury, could travel but O’Driscoll has hinted he’s unlikely to be risked.