Martin O'Neill hails impact of academy players at Nottingham Forest

Ryan Yates has been an academy success story at Forest since Martin O'Neill's arrival.
Ryan Yates has been an academy success story at Forest since Martin O'Neill's arrival.

Martin O'Neill has highlighted the importance of Nottingham Forest's academy players in his first team plans.

The Forest boss believes the attitude shown by youngsters aiming to break into the first team is setting a good example throughout the club.

And, citing Ryan Yates as one of the key successes, he is keen to see that continue.

He told the club's official website: "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 U23 side has been particularly impressing O'Neill, with the work of coach Chris Cohen proving fruitful as the Forest boss and his coaching staff regularly watch their games.

Cohen 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."