Nottingham Forest beat Bristol City 2-1 at Ashton Gate in midweek. Although it had looked like being an unfortunate night for the Reds, James Garner did show some promise.

The on-loan Manchester United man has been suffering somewhat with second season syndrome. Since arriving back on Trentside, he has struggled to replicate his form of last season.

Garner, 20, is still a good player. It’s somewhat harsh for some Forest fans to already be washing their hands of such a talented player.

Barnsley v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

He hasn’t yet registered a goal contribution since his return to Trentisde. Indeed, against Birmingham and Blackpool, he lost his place to Jack Colback and it has to be said that was the right call.

Good players don’t become bad ones overnight though and that’s worth remembering when certain sections of the fan base are berating Garner.

Against Bristol City, there were signs of the Manchester United talent edging back towards the player that Forest know he is capable of being.


According to Who Scored, Garner registered three key passes; the most of any other Reds teammate and also finished third of any Forest player with a pass success ratio of 84%.

His 71 passes were the most of any Forest player, with the exception of Joe Worrall and he also completed two dribbles.

Garner can still be a big Forest player

These stats from the other night are only a steady start of course. He was by no means amazing but these numbers show that he was at least improved.

Garner has signed a new contract with United prior to joining the City Ground for a second loan spell.

Nottingham Forest v Millwall - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Increased confidence at Forest across the squad means that Garner can no longer rest on his laurels.

Against Bristol City, there were clear signs of improvement and on his latest performance, there is hope he can get back to the form he showcased last season.

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