Neil Warnock has backed down over Nottingham Forest defender Djed Spence during an interview with The Northern Echo.

The recently retired boss allowed the 21-year-old to join the Reds in August and he’s watched on as he’s lit up the Championship.

Warnock claimed previously that Spence could be a Premier League player but that he could also find himself in non-league.

That seemed awfully disrespectful and the defender has clearly shown willingness to prove his former manager wrong.

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

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Spence has been magnificent for the Reds. He’s scored three goals for the club and also registered five assists, with Forest nicely poised for a title at promotion.

Now, Warnock appears to have backtracked somewhat on his previous thoughts that Spence might not make it higher than non-league.

He told The Northern Echo: “Me and Djed had a few run-ins, and we weren’t really seeing eye to eye. There were a few things that had been going on in the background.

“The question was what was best for Djed? Was it best to leave him sulking on the bench? Or was it best to send him somewhere where he could play and enjoy it a bit more?

“It doesn’t surprise me how well he’s done at Forest but I think it’s worked out for the best for everyone. He’s settled down and started playing well.”

Spence has made a mockery of Forest foe Warnock

It’s really quite remarkable to see Warnock’s words rammed back down his throat. He can say whatever he likes but ultimately, he failed to get the best out of a talent like Spence.

Forest have benefitted from his decision to make his life difficult and it’s hard to imagine Chris Wilder not finding a place for Spence had he still been at the club.

Nottingham Forest v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship
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Warnock’s retirement isn’t before time. His style of management has kind of had its day now really and ultimately managers like Steve Cooper are the envy of the old-school brigade.

Spence is in the mix to be crowned Forest’s Player of the Year and however Warnock wants to dress it up, he made a huge mistake in letting him leave on loan.

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