Nottingham Forest: We've signed players with a point to prove, says Alex McLeish
NOTTINGHAM Forest will benefit from signing two players with a huge hunger to prove themselves, believes Alex McLeish.
The Reds boss yesterday swooped to sign Gonzalo Jara and Elliott Ward on loan for the rest of the season, from West Brom and Norwich respectively.
The defensive duo both see their contracts expire in the summer – and are looking to earn themselves a more permanent stay at the City Ground.
And McLeish hopes that situation will provide additional motivation for the pair as he looks to strengthen his squad for a push for promotion.
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"They are both going to be hungry, because of their situations," he said. "They are here on loan so we can have a look at them for the longer term.
"Talking to Elliott, he gave me that impression; the idea that he is determined to make a fist of it.
"He knows how proud I am of my defences being impregnable. He is going to do his best to make sure that happens.
"It does give you a lift to get a few players in, as a manager.
"It is good to embrace a player who you have just signed. There is an instant connection there.
"It is up to you to make sure the relationship works well."
McLeish's next addition is likely to be a goalkeeper, after the manager took the decision to tell Lee Camp he has no future at Nottingham Forest.
"I told Lee to tell his agent that he can find himself another club," he said. "Lee is a gentleman, I told him face to face what the situation was. I was not about to send him a letter.
"I just said to him that we had to make changes; that there had been frustration between him and the club over a period of time, since he rejected his contract.
"I told him that I intended to bring a keeper in and that it would not be right for him, a man of his stature, to sit on the bench as number two.
"There is a chance that the new keeper could be in before Saturday, yes. But the other side of this is that we are very comfortable, after watching him in training, with playing Karl Darlow.
"When does the boy get a chance?
"Blackburn threw young keeper Jake Kean into their side, ahead of Paul Robinson, and we thought we would target him; that we would get at him.
"But he was excellent. He won them three points with the save he made from Billy Sharp."
McLeish says Camp is not to blame for Forest's recent defensive frailty, however.
"There is no scapegoat. There is no suggestion he is the scapegoat for that," he said. "I looked at the keeper situation from the moment I came in.
"As a new manager, you see things and question whether to make changes.
"They do say that, if something is not broken, don't fix it. But there are things that can be improved. Time will tell if we are correct, when it comes to the decisions we make."
Find out more about Forest's new signings – Pages 50-51