David Prutton says Ben Osborne needs to “work hard in training” to get his place back in the Nottingham Forest side. After featuring in their first 15 league games of the season, the midfielder was recently been dropped by Aitor Karanka and has racked up just eight minutes of playing time from their last three outings.
Osborne has made over 200 appearances in all competitions for Forest and likely won’t be used to being out of the team for a prolonged period, but Prutton says he shouldn’t be worried. A former Forest midfielder himself, Prutton admitted he’d been dropped in the past but didn’t worry. He just worked hard to get back into the team and encouraged Osborne to do the same.
The Sky Sports presenter said to Nottingham Live: “He’s clearly a good player. He’s played in a lot of different positions and been picked by a lot of managers. Unless you’re a very top player then every player has this situation where they aren’t starting every week.
“I wouldn’t say anything different to what the manager is probably saying. He’s got to work hard in training and wait for his chance. When he gets it, it’s his responsibility to stay in the side. Sometimes you have a situation where results aren’t going and several players are being average, but you’re the one to miss out.
“I’ve been there myself. Ben seems like a very switched on lad. He seems to be well valued and respected by the club so I wouldn’t worry if I were him at the moment. If he can’t get in for months then maybe you re-address it, but Forest do need a big squad to mount a promotion push.”
Osborne is used to being a regular at the City Ground. The 24-year-old, who has represented England at youth level, had made an astonishing 166 consecutive league appearances before Karanka dropped him against Leeds United on October 27.
He didn’t miss a single league game in 2016/17 (4009 minutes from a possible 4140) or 2017/18 (3809 minutes from a possible 4140) and has proven to be useful in a variety of different roles – left-back, left-midfield, centre-midfield and defensive-midfield.
Being dropped is a setback for Osborne, but he was introduced from the bench against Hull City on Saturday so Karanka still has him in his sights. If he takes Prutton’s advice on board, he could be back in the starting eleven in no time.