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Academy attitude benefitting first team

1 April 2019

The attitude of academy players at Nottingham Forest is having a big impact on the first-team picture, according to manager Martin O'Neill.

Ryan Yates has emerged as key first-team player since the appointment of O'Neill as manager and with plenty more players coming through the ranks at the club, O'Neill is keen to see them continue to develop.

He said: "It looks as if they all have a similar sort of attitude to Yates – which speaks volumes for the academy, in the sense that these players are obviously so grounded.

"I will probably praise them and find that they have got themselves in a heap of trouble now... but seriously, all of this is well played by the academy. One or two of these players look really promising, which is good for us.

"When you look at those players who have come through – Yates, Osborn, Cash, Worrall – they all absolutely have that desire. They love playing football.

"That is the major point. They all have a good attitude. I am very pleased with all of them."

The focus on the academy has been felt with the Under 23s side, which coach Chris Cohen has been delighted to see.

O'Neill and his coaching staff are regular attendees at Under 23s matches and Cohen feels that can only help drive on the young players coming through the youth ranks at the club.

He said: "Everyone has been brilliant who has come down from the first team, whether it's Liam Bridcutt, Jamie Ward or anyone else. You see all the first-team staff come to pretty much all our games home and away, which is incredible for the boys.

"It's a massive difference to old regimes. That's nothing against any of the previous managers or anything like that, but Martin turns up every single week pretty much.

"That's great for the players because there's pressure to go out and impress the first-team manager. Overall they've handled that really well."


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