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Finding the right balance

31 December 2020

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton says he hopes to use the January transfer window to strike a better balance in his squad ahead of the second half of the Sky Bet Championship season.

The Reds' boss says he will not make any unnecesary additions to his playing squad and admits that some players may have to move away from The City Ground to get more regular game time but that those moves must suit all interested parties.

He said: "We have a very big squad at the moment so we will have to decide whether we want to do any business in the window. We have to make a judgement call on if we can better the squad that we've currently got and in which areas and all of those decisions are down to myself. If we do get an opportunity to improve the squad then we will do so but we won't make changes for the sake of it.

"Generally, most managers would like to get their business done early so that you have the rest of January to settle the squad back down but the reality isn't always that way. Some things can be out of your control and, of course, if you do want to trim down the squad then you have to wait for opportunities and offers to come in for those players.

"I think it's a very fair assessment of where we'd like to be to say that we would rather have a slightly smaller but improved playing squad. The balance you have to strike as a manager is that you also need to make sure you have enough players to cope with the busy schedule in the second half of the season."

Forest get 2021 up and running with a trip to Preston North End on Saturday and Hughton wants to see a complete 90-minute performance from his side to help them extend their unbeaten run to five games and push them away from the bottom three in the Sky Bet Championship.

He said: "We're coming up against a good side who are on the back of a couple of wins but we want to get that little bit more consistency in our game. It goes without saying that we need to stop going behind in games because we've only been showing the best of ourselves once we've gone 1-0 down so we do need that quicker start in matches.

"Preston have a very good, experienced manager and their consistency of squad has helped them a lot. They've changed their formation a few times recently which seems to have helped them pick up those better results and you always know you're going to face a very difficult game when you go there.

"Everybody came through Tuesday night's game unscathed which is good news so everyone is available for the trip. Only Luke Freeman and Jack Colback are still absent but the good news for us is that Luke is getting closer and will hopefully return to training either late next week or early in the week after."

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