Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce has told Forest Player that whoever is selected to replace Britt Assombalonga on Saturday should see it as a big opportunity.
Forest will be without 12-goal Assombalonga for the visit of Charlton Athletic as the striker serves a one-game suspension following his red card in last weekend’s defeat to Birmingham City.
The top scorer’s absence is an unusual headache for Pearce, who has been in a position to select Assombalonga for every game so far this season, resting him only for the Capital One Cup trip to Tottenham.
But, ever-keen to emphasise the importance of his squad, Pearce is working hard to find a solution.
Speaking to Forest Player before training this morning, Pearce said: “Someone’s going to have the opportunity to start the game.
“We’re going to have to make at least one change and that’s what the squad situation is all about.
“I’m pretty certain which way I’m going to go at this moment in time. Sometimes that changes nearer the game.
“We might have a practice game today against the youngsters and I’ll sit with the coaching staff this afternoon and decide what direction we’re going to go for.”
Assombalonga’s unavailability aside, Pearce was happy to report that, now Jamaal Lascelles has recovered from a tight groin on the back of the Birmingham trip, everyone involved at St Andrew’s will be available for selection.
And the manager also had promising news to report on long-term absentees Andy Reid and Jack Hobbs.
He said: “I saw the specialist a week ago, who was very pleased with their progress.
“Both of them have done everything expected of them at this stage of the recovery.
“They’re doing a lot of gym-based stuff, they’ve not been outside on the grass as yet, but their recovery is to a timescale.
“The medical staff are outstanding here so they’ll bring the players back when they’re right.”
Click here to watch Pearce’s full pre-match interview on Forest Player.