Nottingham Forest Under 21s coach Jimmy Gilligan says today’s display against Huddersfield Town was a ‘massive improvement’ on what he saw against Coventry City last week.
The Reds were beaten 2-1 at home by the league-leaders this afternoon but, despite overseeing a 6-2 victory at Coventry a week ago, Gilligan was happier with today’s overall performance.
He said: "It was a massive improvement. I always tell players in the development group that there are ways of losing games and, as much as we’re disappointed today, we were competitive against a very well-organised Huddersfield side who I believe will go on to win the league. At times we played some very good football, certainly in the first half. Our build-up play was excellent.
"I thought Gerry McDonagh in particular was excellent and Ryan Yates was strong and aggressive for a good part of the game.”
One player unavailable to Gilligan this afternoon was centre back Joe Worrall, who has joined Dagenham and Redbridge on loan.
Worrall had a debut to remember for the Daggers, playing the full 90 minutes of the League Two side’s FA Cup third-round defeat at Everton, and Gilligan is delighted for the 20-year-old.
He said: "It’s fantastic for Joe - I’d imagine it was an unbelievable debut for him. We’ll make sure we track what he’s doing because we want him to do well for Dagenham and, when he comes back, to start pushing the likes of Matt Mills, Jack Hobbs and Kelvin Wilson for a place in the first team.
"Joe is a very honest, commanding and perhaps ‘old-fashioned' defender. He gives you what he’s got, he’s strong in the air, composed on the ball and takes little risk. At the other end, he’s a danger at set pieces. But he can also travel out with the ball and his passing range and technique are not bad at all.
"If we can give him a bit of time we think he’s going to be a really good one for the future."
Forest: Durrant, Gabriel (Austin 85'), Kelly, Rees (Otim 71'), Riera, Nielsen, Petravicius, Grant, McDonagh, Yates, Thorne (Walton 77')