Nottingham Forest interim head of Academy Gary Brazil is looking forward to seeing Charlie McParland’s U21s ‘challenged on the big stage’ when they face Derby County at The City Ground tomorrow night.The match (kick-off 7pm) will be the second Under 21s fixture to have been staged at The City Ground so far this season, the first resulting in victory over Birmingham, and supporters are once again being offered free admission.
Brazil said: “What we’re trying to create are situations that challenge the players more. Last year’s Youth Cup run taught us that matches against the likes of Norwich in front of 10,000 fans and live on television allow you to learn more about your players.They have to be able to handle those situations.
“It’s really important that we know when they’re put under a big spotlight they can do it. The more fans that come down for these games the better.”
The first team recorded a 1-0 victory over The Rams last weekend to claim East Midlands bragging rights but, while Brazil accepts there will be an ‘edge’ to the upcoming match, he and his staff are more concerned with player performances than the result.
He said: “There is a little bit more of an edge when it comes to Derby but you want to win all of your games. We’re in the area of development and from our point of view we want players to go out and perform well on the night.
“Will the result make a major difference to some of these boys’ development? No. But it’s nice to beat your local rivals. The bigger picture for us is that we have players who are getting better all the time.”