Nottingham Forest Under-23s defeated Sunderland 3-0 at Meadow Lane last night. Julian Larsson, Riley Harbottle and Aaron Donnelly scored the Reds goals as they maintained their play-off push.

After the game, Brennan Johnson chose to praise Harbottle on Instagram. He grew up playing in the development ranks with the centre-back and was at the game last night to cheer him on.

The youngster was in fine form at the back for Forest. His solid work of late was rewarded by boss Andy Reid who chose to make the youngster his captain for the night.

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Harbottle has been in fine form for the Reds. He is at a crossroads in his City Ground career though, with his contract up in the summer.

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He will hope to finish the season with a flourish and earn himself a new deal with the club he has supported all of his life.

Forest do have centre-backs aplenty. Scott McKenna, Joe Worrall and Steve Cook have been instrumental, with Loic Mbe Soh, Tobias Figueiredo and Jonathan Panzo all waiting in the wings.

Harbottle might have impressed Steve Cooper, however, and he does have two first-team appearances under his belt.

What has Johnson said to Nottingham Forest gem Harbottle?

It’s clear the two are big pals. Both players are at a similar age and they likely played in several young teams together.

Last night after Harbottle scored for Forest, Johnson took to Instagram with a small, yet emotional, message to his teammate.

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He shared the words ‘my bro’ and posted it alongside two love hearts.

Johnson will hope to see the defender earn a crack of the whip at Forest. If that is to be the case he will need to earn a contract extension before the end of the campaign.

The team spirit looks sky-high at the City Ground and Johnson heading off to watch the Forest under-23s highlights brilliant morale.

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