Chris Hughton admits the international break has come at the right time for Nottingham Forest after a tough start to the Championship season.
The Reds came into the season having endured a disruptive end to their pre-season campaign, with friendly matches against Burnley and Aston Villa called off due to a small number of positive COVID cases within the first-team squad.
Hughton’s men began the league campaign with four defeats from their opening four games – a record which was matched last season for the first time since 1954.
The club have found it difficult to bring in players, too, making their fifth summer signing on Friday, with Max Lowe joining on loan from Sheffield United and becoming their fourth loan player. With the likes of Joe Lolley, Loic Mbe Soh and Jordi Osei-Tutu also on the sidelines, too, injuries have proved to be problematic.
On Saturday, though, they picked up their first point of the season after a late 1-1 draw with arch rivals Derby County at Pride Park. Brennan Johnson’s late strike cancelled out Tom Lawrence’s early opener, salvaging a last-gasp point for the Reds.
After a frustrating and turbulent start to proceedings, an international break is now on the horizon. Forest’s next league game comes on the 12th of September, with Cardiff City travelling to the City Ground.
Speaking after his side’s draw at Pride Park, Hughton told his press conference of how the break has arrived at a much-needed time, with there now being a chance to work with his current group of players, as well as those who may arrive before next week’s transfer deadline.
“For us, it’s needed,” he said.
“It has been a difficult start to the season. It has been a very disrupted pre-season and start to the season.
“That doesn’t mean that we weren’t able to get results in these games, because with whatever team you put out, you try as hard as you can to get results.
“Hopefully if the club is able to do some work over these next few days, it’ll give us a little bit of respite and a bit more time to work with them going into what is another hard period.”