Dexter Blackstock happy to battle for starting berth at Nottingham Forest
DEXTER Blackstock admits the fight for places at Nottingham Forest is a new challenge for him – but he is ready to face it head on.
The Reds striker returned to the starting line-up against Sheffield Wednesday, after spending several weeks playing second fiddle to Simon Cox and Billy Sharp.
Blackstock admits he is not used to life on the bench – but says he is happy to fight for a regular starting place.
"It is not frustrating, because I am a professional," he said. "But you don't want to be on the bench, it is not what you want.
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"Since I was 18, I have been the main striker in the team.
"At Southampton, QPR and Nottingham Forest, that has been the case. I have not spent much time on the bench."
But the striker says his time as a substitute has helped him to hone his fitness.
"It is different for me, to be on the bench. But it is something you have to deal with from time to time. You can work on things that you can't when you are in the team, to some extent," he said.
"You can do extra strength work, you can do things in the gym that you couldn't when you are playing Saturday and Tuesday every week.
"You know it is only a matter of time until you get back in. You just have to keep working hard.
"I felt great on Saturday. I felt fit and ready. I have always said that, if you play for a club like Nottingham Forest, there is going to be competition.
"There has been a minimum of six strikers here throughout the time I have been here – sometimes there have been many more.
"It is no different now, there is a fight for places there, but that is something you have to deal with playing for a club like Nottingham Forest.
"No disrespect, but if you play for a team in a lower division, you might only have two decent strikers in the team.
"Here you have to perform or you will not be in the team. In my case, it was because I was suspended.
"But, if you are out the team, you have a fight to get back in. That is the pressure of playing for a big club like Forest."
Blackstock believes the 1-0 win over Wednesday on Saturday could prove to be an important result for the side.
"It was a massive three points," he said. "Sheffield were a good side and it is surprising to think they are down where they are. If you want to be promoted, you need to win games like that.
"The Championship is tight and competitive but, once we got the goal, we were confident we could get the result. We were good value for the win in the end.
"I felt good on Saturday, I still had enough energy at the end to make runs. It was great to come back into a good team and collect a big win."