Chris Hughton admits it is “important” to have players of Anthony Knockaert’s quality at the club if they are to start climbing the Championship table.
Knockaert arrived on loan from Fulham back in October, becoming Hughton’s first and only signing since replacing Sabri Lamouchi at the helm.
The winger’s loan deal at the City Ground is set to expire next month, however it remains to be seen whether Forest extend the deal, or activate their option to sign the player permanently.
Knockaert was reintroduced to the starting line-up on Tuesday night as Forest picked up a point on the road against Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium.
It was his cross that led to James Chester converting the ball into his own net, as Forest stretched their unbeaten run to four games in the league.
Hughton spoke to FLW’s George Harbey in his post-match press conference, and was asked about how important it is to have players of Knockaert’s quality on the books for the whole season, as Forest look to start climbing the Championship table.
Hughton said: “It’s important to keep our players fit, but also to have players of quality.
“This is a tough division, and probably because of how it is this season without supporters, it’s as tough a Championship season as there’s been. There are no easy games.
“We need a squad of as much quality as possible, and particularly in the areas where we know we’ve got to improve.”
Forest sit 21st in the Championship after their draw in Staffordshire, three points clear of the relegation zone.
Knockaert has been a standout performer at times for Forest since arriving on loan.
There is a feeling that there’s still more to come from the winger, who has been guilty of being quite inconsistent at times.
But there can be no denying that he is a hugely talented player who has undeniable quality, and his deliveries into the area against Stoke caused problems.