Greg Halford: Back four can be key to Nottingham Forest success
GREG Halford believes Nottingham Forest do have the quality to play with a three-man central defence – but not the time needed on the training ground to utilise it this season.
The Reds have flourished under Billy Davies, who has employed a traditional back four since his return as manager.
And Halford, who will watch from the stands as Forest face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tomorrow because of suspension, believes the simple approach has helped Forest's players produce their best form.
Forest twice suffered defeat when playing with a back three under Sean O'Driscoll, at home to Hull and at Watford, and also then lost under Alex McLeish against Oldham in the FA Cup.
But Halford believes it is an approach Forest can utilise in the future – if they have the time to work on it in training.
"Sean had it in his mind that he wanted to play as a back three," said Halford. "And I believe we could, because we have the players.
"We are all comfortable on the ball and we all have good distribution.
"But we need to work on it. Wigan and Watford are the prime example.
"They both play that way – but they will have worked at it for a year or more. They work on it day in, day out, in training as well, I imagine, to work out the kinks. We have never managed to do that."
And Halford believes playing with a formation they are comfortable with under Davies has been one of their strengths.
"We cannot go into games playing against teams, with a back three, when we have not worked on it, against teams that have worked on it," said Halford.
"That is what I am talking about when I have referred to needing our own identity."