International break a chance for Nottingham Forest boss Warburton to do some ‘long-term planning’


A lengthy list of international call-ups is an indication of the quality Nottingham Forest have at the club, according to boss Mark Warburton.

And while those players are away with their countries, the Reds coaching staff will use the break from league action to undertake some “long-term planning” as well as spending valuable time on the training ground with the remaining squad members.

Defender Joe Worrall and on-loan Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell were yesterday named in the England Under-21s squad, while striker Ben Brereton will link up with the Under-19s and young striker Arvin Appiah with the Under-17s, fresh from their World Cup win.

Daryl Murphy and Jamie Ward face crunch games for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively as they bid to make next year’s World Cup.

Meanwhile, Jason Cummings will join the Scotland squad for the first time and Eric Lichaj is set to be involved for USA as they face Portugal in a friendly.

“You’ve got more senior pros going away, the likes of Daryl,” said Warburton. “But I’m delighted also for Jason Cummings, with his full Scottish call-up. It’s fully deserved and Malky (Mackay, Scotland caretaker manager) is one to give young players a chance, so I’m delighted for that.

Daryl Murphy in action for Republic of Ireland

“Then you look at Joe Worrall and Kieran Dowell going away with England Under-21s, and Ben Brereton with the Under-19s. You’ve got Eric going away with the USA, playing in Portugal, Jamie Ward, who’s worked so hard to get back (from injury), going away with Northern Ireland – they are massively important games for him and Daryl.

“You wish them all the best and know it will be great experience.

“You know those senior pros will add real quality to their international squads.

“I’m sure the respective managers are keen to get Jamie and Daryl with them, because of the quality and the character they bring to the squad.”

Before the international break, Forest host QPR at the City Ground on Saturday looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat at Reading.

Warburton says there are positives to taking a breather from the Championship, particularly following a run of three games in the space of a week.

Joe Worrall on his England Under-21s debut against Andorra

“Sometimes it’s good for the staff that you get a chance to work with the squad on the training pitch,” he said.

“Sometimes the games programme is such that it becomes a maintenance programme – you play Saturday, you recover Sunday, you have a light Monday, you travel, you play Tuesday night, off Wednesday, recovering, light training, then it’s matchday.

“It’s nice to actually have a training group to work with. However, you are normally minus six, seven, eight, nine, 10 players (on international duty) – and the higher up the leagues you go, the more international players go away.

“It’s a balance, but it does give you chance to work with players. And it does give those with knocks and injuries chance to fully recover.

“It gives a chance for staff to get some other work done, looking further ahead, long-term planning.

“So there are benefits, absolutely.

“It is what it is. It’s great when your players go away; to be picked for an international squad, irrespective of age group or country, is testament to the fact they’re doing well.

“The more players you have go away, you hope very much it means the whole squad is doing well.”



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