Martin O’Neill is hoping Molla Wague “will be available” against Preston North End after an “issue in training”. The Nottingham Forest defender has made only one Championship appearance since joining on loan from Udinese in January, having been left out of the matchday squad against Birmingham City (February 2) and West Bromwich Albion (February 12). His only outing was sandwiched between the two fixtures – Brentford on February 9.
O’Neill told Nottinghamshire Live: “Wague had a bit of an issue in training, so we took him out of the picture completely. But he is improving and I am hoping that he will be available for selection this weekend.” With Michael Hefele out for the season while Michael Dawson and Tobias Figueiredo are out until March, Wague’s return is much-needed.
New signings Alexander Milosevic and Yohan Benalouane started alongside one another at centre-back in Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with West Brom, but Wague could at least make the matchday squad if O’Neill is convinced that he’s ready. The 27-year-old has been short of playing time all season, racking up only 94 minutes of Serie A football at Udinese before he moved to Forest, so he’ll surely be desperate to feature.
Forest will be underdogs against Preston. North End are coming off the back of four wins from five and boasting a four-game unbeaten run on home soil. Forest have dropped points in their last seven away games, picking up just three points from a possible 21, so O’Neill has his work cut out at Deepdale.