Nottingham Forest’s Charlie McParland believes this afternoon’s win at Mansfield will help The Reds get into the habit of winning ahead of the new season.Forest’s Under 21s coach was tasked with leading the team, which comprised of a mixture of first team and Academy players, on a scorching afternoon at The One Call Stadium, leaving manager Billy Davies and his deputy Ned Kelly free to survey the action from a loftier position in the stands.
A solitary first-minute strike by Radoslaw Majewski was enough to tip the balance in Forest’s favour, and McParland was pleased with what unfolded in front of him.
He said: “It’s always nice to win with a clean sheet – it’s a bonus, and a good habit to get in to.
“It was a very positive day. We were completely on top for the first 25 minutes after getting our early goal. We just took our foot off the gas a little later on but we soon stepped it up again.
“The game opened up in the second half – they attacked us and started putting balls in our box. Mansfield play a direct game - they had about six lads over 6ft. They stick the ball in and you have to fight to win the headers.
“We were unlucky on the break a couple of times, on another day we could have had more goals.”
One of the men assisting McParland was interhim head of Academy Gary Brazil, who was thrilled to have been involved in procedings.
Brazil said: “From the day the manager stepped into the club it was his desire to bring everyone together as one. He is constantly in contact to talk about ways in which we can integrate further.
“He wants Academy players to pick from but the reality is they have to be good enough.
“As Academy staff, it’s our job to give him problems by putting players in front of him which give him a decision to make with his team selections. Some of the boys didn’t do themselves any harm today in that respect.
“It was a great experience for the younger boys – it will help them realise how much of a step up it is from playing at youth level to becoming involved with the first team.”