European Cup winner Garry Birtles has backed Nottingham Forest loan star James Garner to come good for the Reds.

The midfielder is back at Forest for a second spell from Manchester United.

Last season he scored four goals in 20 appearances for the Reds but is suffering from second-season syndrome somewhat this time around.

Garner is yet to produce his top form and was benched for games against Birmingham and Blackpool.

He was restored to the starting line-up against Bristol City and helped the Reds claim a memorable victory.

Forest Garner
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Birtles believes that the Red Devils youngster shouldn’t be dismissed just yet, stating that he can still play a part.

He told Nottinghamshire Live: “I think going forward in the second half (at Bristol City), it was a mixed bag from pretty much everybody but that will come.

“Garner will be a part of something that’s pretty good because he’s a gifted player and he can play a part in us going forward this season.”

Future star: Forest fans wrong to wash hands of Garner just yet

Clearly, Garner is suffering through a crisis of confidence at the moment but Forest fans should hand him some more time.

He pretty much helped Forest stave off relegation single-handedly last season and for that, he deserves some credit.

Playing in front of crowds is somewhat new to the starlet. Last season he played each game behind closed doors and that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Garner Forest
(Photo; Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Good players don’t become bad ones overnight and the fact United tied him to a long contract should speak volumes.

Forest supporters are often too quick to judge players and perhaps some are being a bit harsh on Garner at the moment.

The Reds have options in midfield right now. Steve Cooper is a boss with a proud history of progressing youngsters though and that should bode well for Garner.

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