Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton was the driving factor behind James Garner’s loan move to the club in the January transfer window.
The Manchester United central midfielder moved to the City Ground last month after his previous deal with Watford was terminated following a change of manager.
Garner had started brightly for the Hornets but saw playing time severely diminished, playing just 40 minutes under new manager Xisco in the space of a month, which forced United to take drastic action by ending his loan-spell early.
The club immediately looked at new options for the promising midfielder and academy performance manager Les Parry says Forest were the standout option given Hughton’s superb man-management skills.
“James has done well getting to Forest,” explained Parry. “The manager Chris Hughton was really keen on him. What happened at Watford is the bane of our lives: a manager change. It is one thing that can kill loans because the new manager comes in and, the first thing he wants to do, is look at the longer term with the players there, which is understandable.
“Although James did really well in the first part of his loan, he only played about 40 minutes in six games under the new manager so we looked around, trying to find a Championship club for him. Forest came up and were keen so we were able to negotiate the swap.
“Chris Hughton was one of the attractions for us, to be quite honest with you, with us selecting Forest. I think all of our coaches, and myself, have great respect for Chris. He has a great reputation for the way he treats players, which is important for us. On top of that, with him really fancying James as a player, and the fact he’s going to treat him well, educate him well, was massive in making the decision.”