Nottingham Forest Under 21s coach Jimmy Gilligan praised his side for producing a ‘very disciplined performance’ in this afternoon’s win at Crewe.Liam Adams’ second-half strike doubled Forest’s advantage after Gerry McDonagh, who opened the scoring, had been red-carded.
And Gilligan was pleased to report that his young side were unflustered despite their hosts’ man advantage.
The coach said: “I’ve got to say, when we were down to ten men I thought the players were magnificent.
“They were men – they were disciplined in their shape. I honestly believe we could have been out there for another half an hour. Crewe were raining balls in but we were defending it very well.
“It was a very disciplined performance.”
Under 18s players McDonagh, Jordan Gabriel, Alex Iacovitti, Freddie Nielsen, Liam Adams, Ryan Yates and Aidan Austin all started the match and Gilligan was delighted with a performance which belied the team’s average age.
He said: “Over 50% of today’s team came from the Under 18s so it bodes well for the academy. It’s great for the players to get this experience so early in their careers - it will do them no harm to play in 21s football.
“What’s pleasing for me is when they go and play against older opposition they stand up to the task. They’re not shrinking violets.”
Forest: Durrant, Gabriel, Iacovitti, Rees (c) (Crookes 65'), Nielsen, Karo, Adams, Yates, McDonagh, Thorne (Kelly 80'), Austin (Walton 59')