Calderwood: McGugan's The Man
Colin Calderwood today said he would not be rushed into the transfer market to find a replacement for crocked midfielder Sammy Clingan - and backed Lewis McGugan to fill the void.
The Nottingham Forest manager was hugely impressed with the teenager on Saturday after he replaced Northern Ireland international Clingan, who was stretchered off with a broken ankle.
Clingan will miss the rest of the season but Calderwood says it will be a chance for the 19-year-old to establish himself as a first-team regular.
McGugan scored once and set up another within ten minutes of his introduction as Forest romped to a 5-1 win over Huddersfield, propelling them back into the automatic promotion places in League One.
'He had a nice start and has forced his way into the first-team group, but that is testimony to the academy here,' said Calderwood.
'When the boys come through they know the game and they are ready to compete with the seniors.
'He is making an impression. He was good on the ball, but also made strong, aggressive challenges. He can play in the team.
'That type of performance puts him forward. It was a game to remember and must have been enjoyable to for him play in.
'The need for new players is lessened to a degree because of the way Lewis played; lessened to quite a large degree, in fact.
'He will score goals; he has got power from the edge of the box; he showed what he has got and it lessens the loss of Sammy.
'I thought Gary Holt next to him was exceptional, in terms of the experience he showed with the young lad round about him.
'We have to give the young players an opportunity, otherwise all we will be doing is sending them out on loan and seeing if they can cope at another place.'
Calderwood said that he might still add one or two new faces to his squad before the end of March, but he was also considering the option of recalling Felix Bastians and Spencer Weir-Daley, who are currently out on loan.
'Everyone in the dressing room knows they are right in the 18, but we also have to be aware that a couple of injuries could leave us looking short,' he said.
'We have got a little bit of time, before the end of March, to make sure we are OK. But we will give the lads here the opportunity to take us up.
'Felix is having a good period at Halifax. We could bring him back, and Spencer is another one we could look at recalling from Lincoln.
'He is also doing well, so from within we could make ourselves stronger.'
The news was not good for Clingan, however, with the midfielder facing at least two months on the sidelines.
'Sammy has broken an ankle and will be in plaster six weeks. I don't know if his season is over, but with that long in plaster and then rehab afterwards, it is virtually,' said Calderwood. 'We will wheel him out again for the promotion party.
'It is a blow. We had 18 in the squad and Sammy knocks that number down, but we have Nathan back tomorrow and Jack the following Saturday.
'You don't need an injury like that but what can you do? We have been fortunate that it has not happened before now.
'We have still got enough to win a game, as we showed on Saturday, and I firmly believe that we will be good enough to get where we want to be.'
Nottingham Evening Post
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.