Under 18s assistant coach Gareth Holmes says Nottingham Forest achieved their primary objective by progressing to the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup last night.Gerry McDonagh nodded the ball home in the second half to hand his side a 1-0 win over Birmingham at The City Ground.
And, while Holmes believes there is still room for improvement, he was delighted to see The Reds progress.
The coach said: “We got what we wanted – to get through to the next round. We possibly wanted to do it in better style but all in all it’s about getting through.
“We would like to have played with a little more creativity in the final third but sometimes these occasions are a little bit pressurised for the boys – nerves, anticipation, expectation on them. It’s great we’re through to the next round because they get another chance to practice that.
“I thought the back four were a real highlight of the game for us. We talked about compressing the units and making it more compact compared with the Brighton game and I think we showed that.”
Next up for Forest is a home tie against Liverpool or Cardiff, who play each other on Wednesday 27 January.
And Holmes says Forest will be clued up on whoever they face: “Cardiff are in the southern section of our league so we have played them already this season. They were tough opponents.
“I also know the Under 18s manager at Liverpool. Neil Critchley will set up his side really well.
“Whoever we get we’ve got another home draw and it’s going to be a test, but when I look at the players in there I know there is a lot more they can show.”