Nottingham Forest manager Gary Brazil feels competition for places can only push his players to perform better ahead of the clash with Brentford tomorrow night.
Chris Cohen and Armand Traore returned to the side following injury for Saturday’s 3-0 win over Brighton, and with Dani Pinillos available again tomorrow night and Jack Hobbs, Michael Mancienne and Matt Mills all nearing a return, Brazil is delighted with the depth of his squad.
He said: “Any team that is the right end of the league will have competition for places. Our desire is to make sure that we continue to push forward this season and start next season well. There are players coming back who are very good footballers but they need to fight to get the shirt and that is a healthy squad. The players that have got the shirt are fighting to keep it and those coming back will have to be in good shape and showing good form to get back into the team.
“The players are growing in confidence because they feel fitter, they are lasting in games more, they are winning their individual duals and they are starting to show more confidence in the top third of the pitch. All the signs are going in the right direction and now is the time for the players to take the responsibility on the pitch.
“We worked hard and had quality at key moments on Saturday and it was a well-deserved victory. We are showing strong signs of what we can become and the work we have been doing on the training ground is starting to bear fruit.
“Inside the stadium the feel of the place was really nice and it was great to sense The City Ground like that. Again, the fans were fantastic as the game went on and we got stronger as the game went on which is really nice.”
Brazil is expecting another tough challenge against Brentford and he hopes The Reds can carry on from where they left off against Brighton.
He said: “It was a good result but I wasn’t particularly surprised. I know what I see on the training ground and I know what the players are like; I know what we are going to get going through the rest of the season.
“We now need to go and do that twice in four days. It won’t be an easy game tomorrow night; people will think that Brighton is the tougher game than Brentford. They offer different problems and we need to find solutions to that and we need to find that energy again. We will have a really good go to try and get the three points and move further up the league.
“Brentford are a smaller team physically, they get around the pitch well and are good in possession. They have bright, intelligent players that will look to pick out pockets to play against us and they attack in numbers. We have got to be organised and that will give us opportunities to hurt them. I think it will be a game with lots of attacking and we need to be very resilient and hard-working without the ball and we need to make sure we are becoming better with the ball. A little bit more calmness and composure in the final third and there are more goals to come.”