Gilligan is pleased with the progress, which has been made by several of the club’s younger players this season, suggesting they can be used as examples for the other youngsters looking to break into the first team ranks next season.
“To see Tyler Walker score at Brentford, to see Jorge Grant do the same at Tottenham, to see Oliver Burke make his debut at Blackpool and then to have Roger Riera, your captain, on the bench against Cardiff City – that’s the end game, and I’ve told the players that,” he said.
The youth ranks are going to be very important for Forest manager Dougie Freedman next season, because of the transfer embargo, which currently hangs over the head of the club.
It’s important the Scot has options in terms of being able to bring younger players into the team and the fact so many younger players have stepped forward into the first team picture is encouraging.
However, Gilligan and Freedman both have to be careful over the way that younger players are used because of their confidence.
Forest are a massive club and will be competing in the top half of the Championship next year and there is an intense level of pressure and criticism which comes along with that.
Throwing younger players into the team before they’re ready can drastically affect their mentality because they can take the negative comments, which come their way negatively.
However, what the four players Gilligan mentions represent is that if players are prepared to work hard enough in all key areas, they will get a chance when the boss feels they are ready.