Platt back in action to fire up Forest

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The Independent Football

The former England captain David Platt is ready to make a comeback as a player to help Nottingham Forest get back into the Premiership.

The former England captain David Platt is ready to make a comeback as a player to help Nottingham Forest get back into the Premiership.

The 34-year-old, who first announced his retirement after helping Arsenal win the League and FA Cup double in 1998, has changed his mind after his first 12 months as the Forest manager saw the Midlands club finish 14th in the First Division, only escaping the threat of relegation in the last month. He did start one match last season, in which he was sent off, and appeared as a substitute in two others, vowing to turn out only in emergencies.

But his failure to sign a goalscoring midfield player this summer led him to decide his own talents were being wasted, even though he has not played a full 90-minute competitive match for more than two years.

"It is not an ego trip," Platt said. "What we were lacking last season was someone who could score goals from midfield and, while no one should expect me to be running from one end of the field to the other every two minutes, I can still get in the box and I know I can score goals.

"I wanted to sign Craig Hignett and had he come I would have been happy with what I had, but he chose to go to Blackburn. By then I had concluded that if I were a rival manager and a fit David Platt was available I'd be interested in signing him. I'm still relatively young at 34 and it was just a matter of getting into shape."

To that end, Platt spent six weeks in the close season in Sardinia, where he has a house, pounding around the local hills and playing the odd game of five-a-side with his neighbours, who include Chelsea's manager Gianluca Vialli and Lazio's Roberto Mancini.

Platt will not yet commit himself to starting against West Bromwich Albion when Forest's season kicks off at the City Ground on Saturday but last night he dropped a strong hint. "Let's say I'm in the manager's thoughts," he said.

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