James Garner had told Manchester United what he had learned from his first victory in the East Midlands derby.
After spending time on loan with Nottingham Forest last season, the 20-year-old has returned to the City Ground this campaign and has featured against arch-rivals Derby County – led by United icon Wayne Rooney – three times over the past few years. last 12 months.
Each of those first two meetings ended 1-1 and Garner even scored a rare goal against the Rams last season.
However, with the matches taking place behind closed doors, it wasn’t quite an authentic derby day atmosphere.
As the devastating Covid-19 pandemic continues to ease, supporters returned to stadiums at all levels and Garner, along with his Forest team-mates, were encouraged by a 2-1 win over Derby on Saturday after- noon by nearly 30,000 spectators.
It was a victory that moved Forest within four points of the play-offs and the United hopeful explained what it meant to him to play in such an important game – and what he learned.
Talk to Radio BBC Nottingham, Garner said: “They scored their goal and it was a bit frantic towards the end.
“But the team dug deep and we have that winning mentality right now. We’ve seen the minutes go by.”
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On the general occasion, Garner added: “It’s a derby, isn’t it? It’s what we expected, but I think we handled the game well.
“I love playing football whether it’s with or without the ball. It was a different game for me, getting stuck in and winning second balls. It’s nothing new for me.
“The fans were amazing. There was an atmosphere here from the first minute until the end. It was great. I loved it.”
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