Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has heaped praise on Manchester United midfielder James Garner.

The 21-year-old has been instrumental in recent months and his form has helped Forest to the cusp of a top-two place.

Following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Birmingham City, the Reds are now just six points away from Bournemouth in second.

Garner joined Forest on loan from the Red Devils in August and has slowly but surely found his very best form.

He has thrived since Cooper came into the club, with the Welshman getting a real tune out of the midfielder.

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Nottingham Forest v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship
Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Garner made 20 appearances for Forest during the second half of last season, scoring four goals and making a real impression among the fan base.

This season he’s been even better. Since the turn of the year, he’s really kicked on and is now among the best midfielders in the Championship.

Cooper has been impressed with his player and wants him to kick on even further.

He told Nottinghamshire Live: “He is a very good example of making he finishes the season strongly. There’s still so much to play for and so many minutes to play.

“He’s good for a goal. He’s around the set-pieces a lot and he’s a good technician.

“He had a wonderful half-volley diagonal pass against Coventry. When it dropped, you had a feeling he was going to connect with it nicely.

“His out of possession game might go under the radar, but that’s been really good as well. He reads and intercepts some really important passes and that’s as pleasing for me as the other stuff.”

Garner looks set for United chance after Forest exit

The Reds need to have a contingency plan ready for when Garner departs in the summer.

Forest’s chances of signing him look relatively slim given that United rate him extremely highly.

Nottingham Forest v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

The Red Devils could have a high turnover of midfield players in the summer and that could hand Garner an opportunity.

It’s been a privilege for Forest fans to see Garner in action over the last 18 months and it will be a shame to see him go.

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