Nottingham Forest winger Michail Antonio is feeling ‘rested and ready’ to face Brighton and Hove Albion tomorrow.
The 23-year-old had started every game this season before he was rested for the midweek Capital One Cup trip to Tottenham.
And, while he was disappointed not to feature at White Hart Lane, Antonio says the competition from those who performed well in his absence, combined with his fresher legs, will spur him on to play a big part if he’s selected to play against The Seagulls.
He told Forest Player: “This club has an unbelievable squad. Every time you go out on the pitch you have to perform because there’ll always be someone behind you.
“At Bournemouth I wasn’t performing at my greatest and I got taken off at half-time. Matty Fryatt dropped on to the left and managed to score the winner.
“I’d started every game this season but the gaffer decided to rest quite a few players. I’m feeling nice and rested and ready to go on Saturday, if I’m picked.
“Hopefully I can keep my shirt for the rest of the season.”
The Reds may have tasted defeat for the first time this season on Wednesday night, but Antonio says the whole team will be working hard to preserve Forest’s unbeaten league run against a Brighton side who are more than capable of carving out opportunities.
He said: “Brighton are a good footballing team who pass the ball nicely. If you give them time they’ll be able to break through you. We’re going to have to get tight to them and defend from the front.
“Britt is the first line – he has to show the player away, then I have to make sure my full back doesn’t get past me or the ball doesn’t slip by me too easily.
“We’ve got to defend as a team and score as a team.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Forest Player, in which Antonio purrs over the contributions of youthful trio Ben Osborn, Jorge Grant and Stephen McLaughlin at Spurs, explains why he enjoys playing as a right-footed left winger and tells of how a potential hurdling career was curtailed by a delayed growth spurt.