One of Manchester United’s most promising young midfielders, James Garner, is struggling for form while on loan at Nottingham Forest.
This is the 20-year-old’s second spell at the City ground, having played there last season to great effect.
The plaudits showered in for Garner at the Midlands club last time around and he became a fan favourite and first team regular under manager Chris Hughton.
The club was hovering around the relegation zone when he joined and he was widely seen as one of the key players that helped the club go on a decent run and reach safety.
Forest snapped him back up for another loan spell this summer, but things are not going as smoothly for the Birkenhead-born man, who started the term as an automatic starter but who has recently been relegated to the bench for the majority of games.
Hughton was replaced as manager by Steve Cooper in September of this year and it was around this time that Garner’s form took a dip and he lost his place to the resurgent Jack Colback.
Speaking on Nottinghamshire Live’s Garibaldi Reds podcast (via The Nottingham Post), former Forest midfielder Guy Moussi said that the England Under 21 international needs to focus on his game.
“Sometimes this is the hard part,” Moussi said. “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.”
If Garner continues to spend the majority of his time on the bench, it could be that United will recall him in January.
However, after his achievements last season, it could be perceived as a failure and step backward so the player will want to work hard to win his place back and prove the new manager was wrong to have dropped him.
Forest are currently sitting in 13th place in the Championship.