Loan Watch: Garner's first goal for Forest
On-loan Manchester United midfielder James Garner says he’s focused on adding more goals to his game, after netting for the first time at senior level for Nottingham Forest.
The 19-year-old latched on to Joe Worrall’s knockdown to fire Forest into a 33rd-minute lead during Friday night’s clash with fierce local rivals Derby County – managed, of course, by Wayne Rooney.
While Colin Kazim-Richards scored a late equaliser to ensure the spoils were shared at the City Ground, Garner’s effort helped Forest keep up their recent run of good form, with Chris Hughton’s men having lost just once in their last eight games.
The Birkenhead-born youngster has played the full 90 minutes in six of those games since moving to the East Midlands at the end of January and he credited his United Academy upbringing for his ability to find the back of the net.
What a feeling ❤️ https://t.co/1m7lmfoL27— James Garner (@jgarnerr96) February 27, 2021
“The goal was a good feeling, that is my first professional goal,” Garner told Forest’s official website after the game.
“I have had a lot of chances this season and the ball just hasn't gone in the back of the net.
“So for it to go in, it was quite fortunate as I didn't hit the ball as sweet as I could have but I am made up.
“I know that if I can get the ball out of my feet on the edge of the box, I can score goals. I have done it growing up through the Academy so, when I do get the chance to have a go from the edge of the box, it doesn't faze me and it is something that I need to keep on adding to my game.”
Boss Hughton also enthused about Garner’s showing in midfield.
“I'm really pleased for James Garner because his performance got better as they game went on,” the former Newcastle boss said.
“I thought he could have done better in the first half, despite the goal, but he certainly got stronger as the game wore on. He will remember his first goal for us, especially at his age, and he's a young player who we're delighted to have.”
While Teden Mengi wasn’t involved for the Rams, there were some other noteworthy performances for our loan players this weekend.
Jesse Lingard continued his productive start at West Ham, setting up Michail Antonio’s equaliser at Manchester City although the Hammers eventually lost 2-1 to the league leaders.
Ethan Laird was given the Man-of-the-Match award for his part in MK Dons’ 1-1 draw with Oxford United in League One, with the right-back playing a role in Andrew Surman’s opener.
📹 Hear from Ethan Laird following today's draw with Oxford United 👇 pic.twitter.com/lcrEqZNPsn— Milton Keynes Dons (@MKDonsFC) February 27, 2021
Di’Shon Bernard continued his promising campaign with Salford City, keeping a clean sheet as part of a back three in the goalless draw at Southend United and being named in the League Two Team of the Week.
Finally, in Spain, Facundo Pellistri caught the eye with an impressive second-half cameo as Alaves went down 1-0 at home to Osasuna.