Gabriel Backed For Forest First Team
Jack Lester believes Jordan Gabriel will continue to improve with the former Southend fullback given the U23 coach's backing to push Eric Lichaj for his first team place in the future.
Gabriel, who was part of Forest's training camp in Portugal last summer, has sat out most of the season due to a knee injury - he suffered the setback of an ankle injury playing for the U23 side against Alfreton.
However, Lester's told the Nottingham Post he's hopeful of positive news.
'He has a knock to his ankle, it might be strained ligaments, but we will have to see how it settles down. We hope it is not too bad, but we will have to wait to see, over the next 24 hours.'
Injures have held Gabriel back for most of this season but Lester has backed his 'spot on' attitude and feels he's still plenty young enough to 'come through' at Forest.
'The injuries have hampered him this season. He has not been on the training ground often enough - that is not his fault, of course. He will have to go again now. It is not right to say he has missed a year, but he has missed large chunks of this season through bad luck with injuries. He is young enough to come through still - and his attitude has been spot on.'
Lichaj, himself linked with a potential exit at the end of the season, will now be the target for Gabriel, probably next season - former Aston Villa defender, Lichaj, has been put down as the example by Lester for Gabriel to look up to.
'That has got to be Jordan's aim. And Eric is a very good role model for him, when it comes to the way that he trains. His attitude towards the game is spot on and Jordan needs to follow that example.'