Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall has jumped to the defence of team-mate Ben Watson in an interview with Nottinghamshire Live.
The 22-year-old has claimed that the experienced Forest maestro gets a lot of supporter criticism that is perhaps unfair.
Watson has started every league game under Sabri Lamouchi, becoming a mainstay in the Reds midfield.
Worrall has described his team-mate as ‘brilliant’ and thinks he gets more stick than he deserves.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “Ben Watson has been brilliant at the start of the season. He takes a lot of unnecessary flak from some of the supporters – in my opinion.
“You look at the performances he put in during pre-season; they earned him the right to play in the first few games.
“He’s another leader, another captain figure in the team – he’s someone who I enjoy playing with.”
Worrall has captained Forest himself in both of the team’s Carabao Cup contests and he believes a lot of what Watson brings to the team goes unnoticed.
He continued: “He’s another player who goes under the radar with how much he affects the side. He’s like a lynchpin in midfield, getting on the ball, he can play but is also very dynamic and robust in midfield.”
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These sort of comments are often taken with a pinch of salt given that players aren’t likely to offload any detriment to their team-mates.
Worrall does have some form with pulling no punches, however, famously slamming some of his former team-mates after a defeat to Wolves at the City Ground.
His expert analysis on Watson is spot on, however.
Some supporters are still up in arms every week when Watson’s name appears on the team-sheet but break the games down and you’ll see that he’s proved pivotal.
He’s done what he’s had to do with minimal fuss and so far this season it’s fair to say that he’s barely put a foot wrong. Okay, so he’s 34-years-old but the younger players in the squad clearly look up to him – none more so than Worrall it would appear.
His influence on the team shouldn’t be underestimated and perhaps some of the supporter criticism should stop.