Former Nottingham Forest favourite Guy Moussi has offered advice to James Garner amid his recent struggles for form.
The Manchester United youngster joined Forest on a temporary deal for the current campaign and his arrival for a second season in a row was greeted with plenty of excitement from the Forest fanbase.
In the second half of the 2020-21 season, Garner proved to be a driving force in the centre of the Forest midfield, scoring four goals in 20 appearances.
But this term he’s been nowhere near as effective and, although Forest performed well on Saturday in their 3-0 win over Preston North End, Garner only came off the bench for 22 minutes.
The 20-year-old now faces a serious fight for his place in the side and it will be a concern to those at United if he suddenly finds himself down the pecking order. The club switched Garner’s loan club in January 2021 from Watford to Forest,
Speaking on the Nottingham Post’s Garibaldi Red podcast Moussi, who enjoyed a six-year spell with the Nottingham outfit, gave his assessment on where Garner is at at the moment.
He said: “Your first season you have to prove yourself. In your mind that’s where you’re starting from. You play the first game and it’s good and so is the next one and the next one
“Now there is a difference, because when you come back, in your mind you are thinking about the season before and you were playing well.
“Sometimes you have expectations where you think ‘ok, I’ll be in the starting XI because I’ve done this for the club’ but it’s a new season, a new beginning. Sometimes this is the hard part.
“When you come here for the first time you have to make people respect your quality and want you to play.
“When you come back it’s a different mindset. Now people expect you to always perform well. When he first came maybe we thought he’s a youngster it’s ok. Now everyone has an expectation of him.
“This is the hard part so he has to focus on his game to bring back his belief. He has to work to be in the starting XI and take it with both hands to move on next time he gets a chance.”
Garner has made seven senior appearance for United and would have been hopeful of kicking on at Forest again this term in the hope of thrusting himself into senior contention at Old Trafford following the loan.
The youngster’s situation has not been helped by yet another change of manager at the City Ground, with Steve Cooper replacing Chris Hughton in September.
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