Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper has played down talk of a rift between himself and January signing Jonjo Shelvey despite his recent omission from matchday squads.
Shelvey was left out of the win over Brighton at the end of April as a result of his tantrum at also being left out of the previous match at Liverpool, but he has not returned to the squad since for games against Brentford and Southampton.
The midfielder had been carrying a knock but is back in training, with Cooper saying there is not room for everyone in his squad.
“Jonjo is training. We have got players and squads to pick, which is what we want, but always outside of that there are players who fall on the wrong side,” Cooper said.
“That is the life of a manager trying to make the right choices, sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t. There’s no problem, we’re all good.”
Shelvey’s omission may be a result of the impressive recent form of Orel Mangala, who is showing his quality in a deep-lying role.
Big things were expected of Mangala following his summer move from Stuttgart but he took time to find his feet.
“We’ve always believed in him,” Cooper said. “It’s really difficult to play really well every single game, as we’ve seen with most of the lads – and there’s no shame in that, because that’s how football is.
“For sure, he’s in a good place and is showing good determination. It’s not just what you see on the pitch, there’s a lot of good stuff off the pitch as well, in terms of his preparation and the analysis he likes to do.
“Like everyone else, we are going to need him. We are going to need everybody. Everybody is playing their part.
“He is showing good confidence at the moment. With the position he plays and the type of player he is, if he’s feeling confident then I think that’s really good because then it allows him to do the things he’s good at well. Let’s hope that’s the case.”