Chris Hughton has insisted that Brice Samba remains his first-choice goalkeeper despite the recent arrival of Ethan Horvath.
Horvath signed for Forest a fortnight ago, with the 26-year-old penning a three-year deal at the City Ground following his departure from Club Brugge.
The USA international is the Reds’ only summer signing to date, with Hughton yet to bolster his outfield positions ahead of the new season.
Horvath will look to provide competition for Brice Samba, who has been Forest’s first-choice shot-stopper for the last two seasons.
Quiz: What was the score the last time Nottingham Forest played at each of these 24 stadiums?
Samba was named in the 2019/20 PFA Championship Team of the Season after keeping 13 clean sheets in 40 games.
Last season, he kept 14 clean sheets in 45 appearances as Forest struggled in midtable and finished 17th in the league.
Speaking to the Athletic, Hughton insists that whilst he wants Horvath and Jordan Smith to challenge Samba for his shirt, the latter remains his first-choice ‘keeper for now.
He said: “Brice has been at a good level for us for two years. He is a very good ‘keeper. Even though I want competition, Brice is the one I see as having the shirt.
“There is a reason I brought Ethan in, however, and there is a reason Smudge (Jordan Smith) always trains as hard as he does. They all want to play.
“You want your goalkeepers to be a competitive group. You want them to put pressure on each other. If they can get the best out of each other, we will have three very good ‘keepers.
“Brice really needs competition. He wants the best ‘keepers pushing him.”
This doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is nice to hear that Hughton feels Samba needs competition because it’s absolutely true.
Since moving to the City Ground, Samba hasn’t really had genuine competition. Aro Muric was a flop, Jordan Smith is not quite on his level, and Abdoulaye Diallo always seemed to be injured.
Maybe that competition will push Samba and get another gear out of him, which is exciting given how well he has performed for the Reds since joining the club.
His stats are really impressive, particularly in a drab season for Forest last term.