James Garner has had a strong start out on loan at Nottingham Forest.
He has started two games so far with Forest winning both, and supporters have taken to him, using adjectives like ‘phenomenal’ and ‘sublime’ to describe his early performances.
They are not the only ones impressed. Teammate Jack Colback is already a signed up member of the James Garner fan club.
And that’s even though Garner’s presence means Colback is sitting on the bench.
The former Newcastle midfielder, a veteran with 360 professional appearances, spoke to Forest’s website about his early views on Garner.
Colback said: “I thought James Garner’s debut on was fantastic. He was moving the ball around really well and spraying some good passes around the pitch so it was a strong performance but when you consider he has joined from Manchester United, you know he’ll have that quality.
“I’m not someone who envies other people being in the side so if James is playing well and the team is winning them I’m very happy.”
Competition is good for Garner
United want Garner to play regularly out on loan. But at the same time he needs to be pushed.
Having a solid if unspectacular professional like Colback behind him is ideal.
Garner will be pushed to keep up high standards in training and off the pitch on a weekly basis as well as on it.
The Championship is a difficult place to learn for young players. Top talents from a number of Premier League clubs have come unstuck here before.
Garner built up 20 appearances at Watford before being moved aside, and that could have been for the best.
He has now got a loan move to Forest, working under a top manager like Chris Hughton with Premier League experience, who knows how to get the best out of him.
There will be tougher challenges ahead and Garner has to maintain his good form. Seeing praise from his fellow professionals will help his confidence.
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