Date: 15th February 2019 at 10:27am
Written by: Seb Franklin

Martin O’Neill said there’s a “fairly decent chance” that Liam Bridcutt “will participate in our first-team” this season, but he may be reduced to sporadic substitute appearances. He recently featured for Forest’s u23 side against Sheffield United to get much-needed minutes and his manager was impressed with his performance on Monday.

The 29-year-old has made just four appearances in all competitions this season, the last of which came against Burton Albion in the EFL Cup in October. He’s turned out just once in the Championship – all the way back in September against Rotherham United – but O’Neill says he could return before the campaign comes to a close.

Forest aren’t short of options in midfield, but Bridcutt is a talented player. He was a regular for the first-half of his debut season at the City Ground but made only five appearances between February and May, and he’s continued to be exiled from the first-team this campaign.

O’Neill has given him hope, however, saying to Nottinghamshire Live: “I have said to the players here that there is a fairly decent chance – although I cannot promise it – that, between now and the end of the season, they will participate in our first team.

“Whether it is five minutes, 20 minutes or five consecutive games. That is how it will be, because I need to find out about these players as quickly as possible. I have had conversations with Liam and he volunteered to play in the under-23 game. I watched the first half of that game and he was doing fine.”

Bridcutt is doing everything he can to get himself back in favour, but there is stiff competition from the likes of Ben Watson, Adlene Guedioura, Claudio Yacob and Jack Colback for a starting place. The Scottish international hasn’t made the matchday squad once under O’Neill, so he couldn’t be further down the pecking order.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

Report: Highly-rated forward having trial at Nottingham Forest, hot prospect for the future

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