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Watson: We'll be ready when we return

20 March 2020

We caught up with Nottingham Forest captain Ben Watson to talk about the season so far and how he has been handling the break from football.

Ben, how are you dealing with the lack of football?

It's difficult to be honest, but what can we do. We follow the advice given to us and keep going until we are told different. At the moment we are at home and keeping up our fitness. It's obviously not ideal but it's a situation we have to manage, we have no choice.

Do you think about the different scenarios and how the governing bodies are going to deal with the conclusion to the season?

You obviously think about what could happen and what it could mean to us, but ultimately it's not down to us. This situation is unprecedented so it's an unknown for all those making the decision, there is no proven solution in how to deal with it so we just have to remain patient and see what happens. I don't envy those having to make the decision.

Looking back on the season so far, how satisfied are you with your own performances?

I don't like to speak about myself as an individual, we are nothing without each other on the pitch. If Grabbs is scoring goals and the defence are keeping clean sheets then I'm happy to be honest. There have obviously been matches this season when you think we should have come away with more, but we didn't and that's football. You have to manage your emotions in this league, you can't get too carried away when you win andequally you can't get too down when you lose.

There is a good mix of youth and experience in the team this season, is it important to utilise this blend over the course of a season?

Absolutely, we all add something to the team both on and off the pitch. The more experienced lads obviously help the younger players deal with the mental approach, remaining focused, that sort of thing. In contrast those younger lads often keep us more experienced players on our toes, the intensity in training is always high and that's often led by the likes of Yatesy and Cashy. We all have a role to play and by having a good mixture of ages and experience can only be a positive for the group.

You've worn the captain’s armband on many occasions this season, how does this feel?

It's great, to captain a Nottingham Forest side is a massive honour. You only have to look at some of the great skippers that have worn the armband to understand what a privilege it is. The likes of John McGovern, Stuart Pearce and Michael Dawson are just some of the talent that have led the teams out at The City Ground and I certainly don't take it for granted. We have some great individuals who also play the role of a captain away from the pitch. Myself, Daws and Lewis are always talking to the manager, who is great and listening to us; his man management is up there with the best I've ever worked with.

Finally, as we could be a while without football, what is your message to the Forest fans during this period?

I think first and foremost stay safe and look after each other. It's obviously a difficult period for us all, but we just have to keep listening to the advice out there from Public Health England and the medical professionals. Life without football or sport at all is going to be testing but it will return and when it does, myself and the rest of the players will be ready to go. 

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