Zach Clough urged to stay patient as Nottingham Forest boss tells him ‘your time will come’


Mark Warburton has urged Zach Clough to stay patient – and praised the attacking midfielder for his positive attitude, as he fights to secure a regular starting place at Nottingham Forest.

Clough has started only three Championship games this season, while making a further six appearances off the bench.

But Warburton says his absence from the side is more a reflection of the superb form of Kieran Dowell, rather than because of any lack of quality from the former Bolton man.

And the Reds boss hopes 22-year-old Clough will keep pushing hard on the training ground, in an effort to oust the likes of Dowell, Barrie McKay, Ben Osborn, Tyler Walker and Jason Cummings, should their performance levels drop.

On-loan Everton man Dowell, in particular, has flourished in the number 10 role best suited to Clough, conjuring up four goals and a flurry of assists in the last three games.

Kieran Dowell celebrates scoring his third goal from the penalty spot during the 3-2 win at Hull

In the meantime, Warburton hopes Clough knows how highly he is valued at the City Ground.

“The frustration is that a really talented player like Zach Clough is having to be patient at the minute. Kieran is a loan player and Zach is our player,” said Warburton.

“You can put an argument forward about that. But Kieran is doing exceptionally well for us right now. He trains so hard every day and he is a real talent.

“Zach has responded really well. Zach is putting his head down and is really good every single day. His time will come, because he is a really talented player.

“But right now Kieran is playing well – and knows he has to play well, because Zach is pushing him so far.”

Forest will have had two weeks without a game by the time they return to action at Birmingham City and, while that has allowed many players some rest and recovery, Warburton hopes those who have been on international duty will return unscathed.

Mark Warburton before the clash with QPR

“It is a chance for the injured players to get fit again,” said Warburton, who was without David Vaughan and Tendayi Darikwa through minor strains against QPR – although Darikwa made a return to action when making his international debut with Zimbabwe.

“Daryl (Murphy) and Jamie Ward have vital games for their country, Eric (Lichaj) is going away to play as well, for the USA. We have under-21 players and under-19 players as well.

“It will be a great experience for those boys. But we will hope that they come back fit and well.”



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