Having the best bench in the Championship can bolster Nottingham Forest's promotion push, says Henri Lansbury
HAVING the best – and most motivated – bench in the Championship can be the ace up Nottingham Forest's sleeve as they look to secure a play-off place.
That was the message today from Henri Lansbury, who believes few of the Reds' rivals can match the strength in depth they possess.
Substitutes Dexter Blackstock, Billy Sharp and Lewis McGugan all played a part in the winning goal at Hull City, as Forest enhanced their promotion chances with a sixth straight victory.
Guy Moussi, Jonathan Greening, Greg Halford and Sam Hutchinson have also been on the bench in recent weeks.
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While Daniel Ayala and Marcus Tudgay are still to return from injury, which gives Forest a host of options.
But Lansbury believes it is the depth of character, along with the depth of quality, in the Forest squad, which has proved key.
"It is a squad game and the lads are responding when they come off the bench," he said.
"There cannot be many teams in the Championship with a bench like that. But it is the work-rate and spirit that gets us to where we are. That unity is important.
"They are putting the effort in on the training ground as well and it is paying off."
McGugan, in particular, has earned a super-sub tag, netting three goals in three games after coming off the bench.
"Nobody complains when they are not in the starting XI, they just get on with it and try to prove a point when they do come on," said Lansbury.
"Look at Lewis, he comes on a produces the performances.
"He does not sulk, he just comes on and scores goals. He has his head up and he does well for us.
"The fact that all three players came off the bench and played a part in the goal (at Hull) tells you everything you need to know really. There is nobody sulking; we all just want to play our part for the team."
Manager Davies admits having options to bring on is an important factor in any promotion push.
And he admits it was good to see three substitutes have such an impact at Hull.
"Sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn't. Against Wolves, we put on Halford and it worked brilliantly for us," he said.
"This week we brought on McGugan, Sharp and Dexter and it worked for us again. That is the impact that we want from subs."