Aitor Karanka has admitted Claudio Yacob could be used to solve Nottingham Forest’s injury crisis in defence ahead of their meeting with Preston North End on Saturday. The Reds will be without the suspended Tobias Figueiredo and injured Michael Dawson, leaving them to reply on Jack Robinson and Michael Hefele to partner one another at the heart of the defence.
Recalling Joe Worrall has been mentioned, promotion academy players up to the first-team was also mooted, but Karanka plans to use his squad in makeshift roles to get over their recent problems at the back. In addition to naming Ben Watson as a potential option at centre-back, Karanka says Claudio Yacob can also operate in the role.
The Forest boss said to Nottingham Live: “We are ready and well-stocked in every position. We need to keep calm and not drive ourselves crazy. We have two players injured and one suspended. But we have other players who can play (at centre-back). We have Claudio Yacob who can play there.”
Yacob has only made three league starts since joining Forest on a free transfer in September and was left on the bench against Ipswich Town over the weekend. He was a regular in previous outings so his match fitness won’t be a problem. The Argentine is primarily a ball-winning midfielder, but he shouldn’t have much trouble deputising at centre-back if given the right coaching.
Robinson and Hefele should start against Preston, but Watson and Yacob could find themselves providing backup in case of injury. Karanka clearly isn’t afraid to put square pegs in round holes if necessary.