Martin O’Neill revealed to Nottinghamshire Live that he’s dropped Alexander Milosevic from the matchday squad so the defender can “have a little look at us” and learn about Nottingham Forest’s playing style.
The 27-year-old was a regular immediately upon his arrival from AIK in January, starting eight consecutive Championship games, but he was benched against Ipswich Town on March 16 and didn’t even make the bench against Swansea City on Saturday.
Molla Wague has been preferred at centre-back alongside Yohan Benalouane as he provides more of a threat, but O’Neill says that Milosevic still has a part to play for Forest this season.
When asked why the Swedish international was left out of the squad against Swansea, O’Neill replied: “He did not have an injury. There is a really fine line here. He came over and was thrown in at the deep end against Birmingham.
“He will have immediately thought ‘wow, what is this all about’ as he had to deal with about seven balls into the penalty area, in the first three or four minutes of the game. But he has gradually come through all of that.
“Wague gives us a bit of a threat, when he is in the side. I just wanted Milosevic to sit it out and have a little look at us. But he is very much in our plans. He really is.”
From his eight league appearances, Milosevic has made 50 clearances, averages a tackle (5) or interception (11) every 43 minutes, has blocked six shots, won 17 aerial duels with a 46% success rate and makes 27 passes-per-game on average with 66% accuracy.
He won three and drew two games from eight, keeping three clean sheets in the process. Forest have picked up a win and a draw from their last two games without Milosevic, but the 27-year-old could return before the season comes to a close.