Nottingham Forest temporary first-team coaches Jimmy Gilligan and Steve Sutton say they are enjoying their ‘whirlwind experience’ as they prepare The Reds for a playoff push.The duo have stepped up to help Gary Brazil with the running of first-team affairs and Gilligan, who only arrived at the club a month ago, says his feet have hardly touched the floor at The Nigel Doughty Academy.
He said: “For me personally it has been a whirlwind. I came to the club as the Under 18s coach but obviously now I’m assisting Gary and Sutts with the first team. It’s not something I expected to be doing but it is a time when needs must for the football club.
“We’ve been working with a great group of players. The training has been bright and lively and it has been a fantastic experience to work with the lads at an important time as they chase promotion to the Premier League.”
After rising through the Forest Academy himself, Sutton has a vast knowledge to pass on to young goalkeepers Karl Darlow and Dimitar Evtimov and admits he is taking a lot of pleasure in being involved with the first-team set-up.
He said: “We’ve stepped up to help get the team through and prepare them for games. We’re working from day to day and we’ll see where it takes us. We’re all enjoying the experience working with the senior pros but we know this time next week we could be back in the Academy.
“I’ve known Karl since he was 15 and Dimi since he was 16 so I knew what I was getting. With Dorus as well there are three genuine guys who want to train hard and help each other improve.”
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town was important for many reasons but Gilligan was especially thrilled to see three Under 21 players in Ben Osborn, Stephen McLaughlin and Jack Blake included in the squad at Portman Road.
He said: “Nottingham Forest has a proud history of producing good young players. For Gary, Sutts and myself it is about developing those Academy boys and helping them progress through the age groups and into the first team.
“To see the three Under 21 boys in the squad at Ipswich on Saturday was fantastic and it can only bode well for the future of this football club.”
Click here to see the full interview on Forest Player.