O'Driscoll trusts Nottingham Forest's out-of-contract stars
SEAN O'Driscoll is relaxed about heading into January with key players almost out of contract – because he trusts them to remain professional.
Dexter Blackstock, Lee Camp, Radi Majewski and Lewis McGugan all see their current Nottingham Forest deals expire in the summer and will be free to talk to other clubs, about a free transfer move at the end of the season, from January 1.
The Reds boss hopes agreements can be reached to see them extend their stay at the City Ground – but says they will all have a part to play in the meantime.
"I am not one of those managers who will say that if a player does not sign a new deal, I am not going to play him," said O'Driscoll. "We have quite a few people out of contract and January will determine whether there is any interest.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"A lot of players will take the chance to see what opportunities they might have. That is probably sensible, for them to see what options they have. I don't have a problem with that, it is the way football is now.
"Players have to want to stay and clubs have to want to keep them. When you get to that point, the negotiations start."
There are a number of clubs believed to be monitoring McGugan's situation, in particular, including Premier League Fulham. When asked if he wants to keep the midfielder, O'Driscoll said: "That is up to Lewis. He has been here for a long time and he is a talented boy.
"It is trying to get the best out of that talent. We try to use him in a way where he can do well.
"Because of our strength in midfield, Lewis is better at creating chances and scoring goals and others are better at closing down and tackling.
"It is trying to find the balance. You want players to come into the team believing they can do well, rather than worrying about the things they can't do.
"Lewis has played his part. He will be disappointed he has not been involved more. But you could say the same about Guy Moussi, Henri Lansbury – there are a few players who might feel that way.
"If you ask ten supporters what their team would be, you would probably get ten different teams. I understand that. We have to find a way to play that is successful."