Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce has encouraged his injured troops to “get themselves fit and vie for a first-team place.”The manager is currently overseeing a training camp in Portugal but was forced to leave a number of key players at home on the treatment table.
And, while Pearce is keen to give the players and medical staff the time they need to make a full recovery, he says it’s important for the club to receive good news on the injury front soon.
Speaking to Forest Player at The Reds’ Portugal training base, Pearce said: “The most important thing, not just for myself but for Nottingham Forest, is that some of these players get themselves fit and vie for a first-team place.
“We’ve got some quality players back at home but they’ve got to get fit. I never put pressure on physios with timescales. When they’re fit, they’re fit and when they rejoin the group they will have to fight to get their place because others are in in front of them now after playing games.
“We’ve got a structure where the players aren’t just sitting in treatment rooms waiting to get fit. They’ll be working on their physical condition, while obviously trying to protect the injury.
“Chris Cohen is a great example. He’s looking a brilliant physical specimen at the moment but he can’t do any physical contact because of the nature of his injury. We have to make sure we carry on doing the non-contact work so when we get the all-clear for him to come into a physical contact situation he’ll hit the ground running.”
Forest round off their stay in Portugal with a match against Rio Ave in Fao this evening (6pm), and Pearce hopes his side can continue their free-scoring form which has seen them net seven goals in their opening two friendlies.
He said: “We feel as though we have goals in the team, with the additions of Matty Fryatt and Lars Veldwijk. Simon Cox played extremely well against Porto and we know Henri Lansbury can score goals- he has done for me at international level.
“But we have to make sure we don’t concede and that we’re a nice solid team to play against.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Forest Player, in which Pearce clarifies the situation surrounding trialist Mikele Leigertwood.