Nottingham Forest must find a way to be flexible without Radi Majewski, says Sean O'Driscoll
NOTTINGHAM Forest must find a way to be flexible without their most flexible player, warned Sean O'Driscoll today.
The Reds boss admits the news Radi Majewski could be out for "months" with his ankle injury is a hammer blow.
But he has challenged the rest of his midfield players to fill the void left by the versatile Pole.
O'Driscoll believes Majewski's ability to adapt to various roles was integral to the team's ability to change formations without changing personnel.
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And, as Forest prepare to face East Midlands rivals Leicester tomorrow, he admits they must now find a way to retain that flexibility without the player who so often provided the link between midfield and attack.
"The team was fairly consistent and, within the team, we were flexible," said O'Driscoll. "People were comfortable in doing different things in different ways.
"But Radi was the key to that. I don't think we have to change things greatly. But Radi plays that position like nobody else.
"We have other people who can play there, but they are more athletic; more runners.
"Radi is the player who gets the ball and pops it off, he is a more difficult player to mark.
"He pops up in different areas and stretches things.
"You would not say he is a midfielder, a wide man or a forward, he is a combination of all three. Everyone else in the squad are players you could pigeonhole into their roles.
"Now, if we don't have that flexibility, picking the right team is going to be crucial."
Adlene Guedioura, Henri Lansbury and Lewis McGugan are likely to fight it out for Majewski's place in the side in the short term, with the Algerian international likely to get the nod against Leicester.
In the meantime, O'Driscoll believes consistency in team selection and in the approach Forest adopt is key.
"If we can get a consistent structure to the team, that would help. But we are not there yet," he said.
"We have had suspensions, injuries and players away on international duty that have prevented us from working on that as much as we would like.
"That is a big thing. We need that to make the leap from being a mid-table team to being a top-six team."
Jermaine Jenas remains sidelined through injury, while Andy Reid, Dan Harding (both hamstring) and Simon Cox (foot) will have fitness tests.