Gilligan has no doubt over the potential and talent that Riera has as he looks to try and break his way into the Nottingham Forest first team next season.
“Roger has been magnificent – Roger as a person is a magnificent young man in everything he does and the way he conducts himself. You can tell he’s a product of them (Barcelona) – He’s a total winner; on the pitch he wants to win every tackle and win every header,” said Gilligan.
Riera was on the bench for the club’s final game of the Championship season last year, which shows that he’s already in the mind of first team manager Dougie Freedman.
The Scot has to consider different ways he can bring new players into the first team setup at the club, because there aren’t going to be too many fresh faces arriving over the summer due to the transfer embargo, which currently hovers over the club.
The only worry that Freedman may have over the youngsters is the idea that he could be a target in the middle of Forest’s defence next season.
He’s physically underdeveloped and sides could look to bully him, but that’s where it’s important Freedman offers him some protection through the likes of Kelvin Wilson; a much more experienced player.
For now, all Riera has to do is get his head down and continue to work hard and he should be confident that his chance will come in pre-season.