Martin O’Neill has revealed that Jack Colback “had been ill” before Nottingham Forest’s meeting with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday and “did exceptionally well” to play a full 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw. The 29-year-old didn’t even travel with the squad for the midweek fixture, but he arrived hours before the match as his condition had improved.
O’Neill told Nottinghamshire Live: “Colback had been ill for a few days and was not even with the rest of the team on Monday. He did exceptionally well to get through the game. There was a thought process to whether we started with him.
“He was pretty poorly, but he improved during the course of the day. We thought we would see if he would last until half-time. As it turned out, he did exceptionally well to last until the end of the game.” Colback was lauded by supporters after a brilliant performance against Albion. He was available for selection after a two-game suspension, but his illness threatened to rule him out of a third game.
And while O’Neill did tell Nottinghamshire Live that he “might change things around” for Saturday’s trip to Preston, Colback could still keep his place in midfield. Since re-joining on loan from Newcastle, he’s made 27 Championship appearances this season, missing only three league outings since September.
O’Neill does have options in midfield from Ben Watson, Adlene Guedioura, Claudio Yacob and the exiled duo Liam Bridcutt & Pele, but Colback is too good a player to ignore. Forest will be in for a tough game against an in-form Preston, so resting key players should be out of the question.