Nottingham Forest return to action in the Premier League this weekend and Steve Cooper will be hoping his team can pick up some good form over the next few games, however, the manager may have been dealt another injury setback ahead of the Leicester clash.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke was the bearer of bad news in his pre-match press conference ahead of his team’s clash with Ukraine tonight in the Nations League, confirming on Monday that Scott McKenna has returned to Nottingham Forest after picking up an injury.
Clarke told the press this week:
“It’s obviously disappointing. You don’t want to lose any player. Kieran [Tierney] and Scott are two good players playing to the best of their ability. As I always say, injuries are sent to test you and it’s now a chance for someone else.
“It’s disappointing to lose Scott McKenna. We’ve also got a sickness bug in the camp so maybe I wake up with a different set of problems. We just get on with it.”
There is no doubt that Cooper will be gutted to lose another centre-back after already losing Moussa Niakhate early into the season due to a thigh injury. Thus, it will be a huge blow if McKenna’s injury is serious as Forest are already struggling to put in convincing defensive performances.
The Tricky Trees are having a tricky start to their Premier League return, conceding the third-highest number of goals in the top flight (17) and losing their last four games consecutively which has left them 19th in the relegation zone.
As a result, losing another experienced player in the backline will be a bitter blow, especially when McKenna has been one of the most dominant forces in the new-look Forest team.
Over seven appearances, the 25-year-old Scotsman has tallied up a 90% pass completion rate in his half, making 3.7 clearances and winning 3.7 duels per game, as well as being successful in completing the majority of his dribbles (75%) so far.
That proves that not only is he composed in possession of the ball but he is a warrior at the back, meaning their defensive woes could become even worse with him out of the side.
The Forest squad will head to the King Power Stadium on Monday night in one of the most important games of the team’s season so far as Brendan Rodgers’ side are the only team below them in the Premier League, and a win would put them in a much stronger position outside of the drop zone depending on the results around them.
With that being said, Cooper will need to rely on Willy Boly and Steve Cook to deliver in the Forest back three alongside Joe Worrall throughout the duration of McKenna’s absence, something that could be confirmed in the manager’s press conference later this week.