Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall said that competition for places can only help The Reds climb the league table as they head to Reading this weekend.
Worrall is one of a number of senior players returning from injury, making his comeback in Wednesday’s draw against Watford, and he believes that having that competition and pressure for places can only be a positive.
He said: “You can’t rest on your laurels and expect to get that shirt. Everyone at Forest and the backroom staff are pushing us every day.
“We have probably not picked up as many points as we would have liked but the boys are out there every single day on the training pitch, looking over their shoulder and knowing that he’s coming back from injury so I’ve got to step it up and that kind of thing.
“I would be thinking the same thing if I was fit and playing, knowing that lads with experience and boys that have come in during the summer are coming back to fitness, it is almost like they are new signings now.
“That is the way it is and I think the more bodies we have on the training pitch the better, because the competition fires up and it gives the gaffer a real headache.”
The Reds travel to the Madejski Stadium looking to build on that midweek draw at The City Ground, but face a Reading team that have started the season strongly.
Worrall said: “Reading probably have done what we did last season, after 10 or 15 games are near the top of the table.
“We know what it’s like to be up there, like we were last season. It has not happened for us so far this season, but when you are up there teams have a wobble.
“I think they play nice, expansive football and are a good side in their own right, but they are definitely open to counter attacks and we will have a look at their weaknesses and look to punish them.”
On the whole, Worrall was delighted to be back on the pitch against Watford after his lengthy injury lay-off and is determined to help the team improve.
He said: “I couldn’t have asked for more, I have been waiting for the opportunity. It probably came a bit sooner than I thought it would have done, I was looking more towards the Reading game, but Scott was unavailable and the gaffer has said to get ready for Watford.
“I was more than ready, the fire in me has been growing even more being injured and watching from the stands.
“I had a week’s training, trained three or four times properly and straight back in. I felt I was more than ready to play.
“To keep a clean sheet against a side that have just come down from the Premier League, I think we can be proud, not just myself but the team, as we were really solid. We maybe didn’t create as much as we would have liked being at home but we were resolute enough to keep them out.”