Nottingham Forest: We are missing a Paul McKenna figure in midfield, says Sean O'Driscoll
NOTTINGHAM Forest are missing a Paul McKenna type leader in the centre of midfield, said manager Sean O'Driscoll today.
The 35-year-old former Reds skipper is likely to be on the bench for Hull City when they visit the City Ground tomorrow.
And O'Driscoll admits he would like to add a similar inspirational figure to the Forest dressing room.
The Reds boss believes McKenna was the driving force behind the play-off pushes under Billy Davies.
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And he wants somebody with his organisational skills and awareness to help his side be more flexible in their approach now – particularly when it comes to playing an orthodox 4-4-2 formation.
"The problem we have is that we are vulnerable in central midfield," said O'Driscoll. "If we are going to play in that way, we are vulnerable.
"When Forest were in their pomp and playing that way, they had Paul McKenna in the centre of midfield, pulling the strings.
"We have not really got anyone like that in the team.
"He was the one who drove the dressing room and made sure that everyone understood their roles.
"So the challenge for us is to find an approach where everyone who comes into the team can do well."
O'Driscoll admits he would be in the market for such a player in January – but also concedes that might be easier said than done.
Instead, he says it is down to the entire Forest squad to take responsibility, when it comes to bringing leadership to the team.
"Those characters are hard to find," he said. "If West Ham will sell Kevin Nolan, we will be fine!
"People in football say there are no leaders any more. But you can say that about society in general.
"In the past, it would be one person at a time, one leader in your side.
"Now perhaps you need more people to take responsibility.
"You need to develop them within your team. Units need to take responsibility; need to pull together.
"At times, we look OK. It is an ongoing thing.
"A Nolan type character would make a big difference. But he has to be good enough to play every week in this team.
"The England cricket side often has that problem. If the captain is not on form, if he is not producing, people start to ask why he should be playing.
"It is trying to find somebody who is good enough to play in the team every week and do all the other things as well – it is difficult."