Warren Joyce has backed James Garner for a successful Premier League career after seeing up close how the Manchester United mercenary shone in the championship.
Former United coach Joyce now works for Nottingham Forest, where Garner has thrived this season under the tutelage of first-team boss Steve Cooper.
The 21-year-old has become a key part of the Forest squad who rose to the table after Cooper’s appointment on September 21, only to miss automatic promotion in the final week of the season.
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Forest will now have to navigate the play-offs if they want to be promoted, but Cooper has built a young squad with several players looking to have a chance in the Premier League one way or another.
Garner is one of those numbers and on his return to his mother club this summer he will have the chance to impress new boss Erik ten Hag and it looks like he will be included in the roster for the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
Joyce, who played for United for eight years, is now in charge of Forest’s Under-18s, but he has also worked closely with the seniors and has impressed with Garner.
“He’s done a great job, you’re very happy for the boy. He came in and maybe he wasn’t up to speed, but he’s gotten better and better, it’s a tribute to the culture that the manager instills in the football club,” he said. Joyce to the football club. Manchester Evening News †
“I think it’s helped him to see what Brennan Johnson, Joe Worrall and Ryan Yates are doing, how they behave. He has looked into the culture that the manager instills in us and the way they behave.
“There is a vibrant group of young players there who are destined for the Premier League.”
Garner spent the second half of last season at City Ground and returned to the club this summer, but found it difficult under Chris Hughton as Forest had a disastrous start to the season.
Cooper’s appointment was a pivotal moment for Garner as the pair previously worked together for England Under-17, where Garner was Cooper’s captain.
The midfielder has now started every league and cup match since November 23 – a run of 32 games in a row – and will be vital in the play-off battle, which begins with a semi-final against Sheffield United.
But the fact that Garner has had to overcome some difficulties this season will serve him well for the future, according to Joyce.
“You need some struggle to get better and to know what it feels like, to learn more about yourself,” he said.
“He will know for himself how much the manager has helped him here and how much he has had to find the answers in himself to come through and play as well as he did and to be involved in the kind of football the first team plays here . .
“It was very exciting to watch and it bodes well for his future.”
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