JOE GARNER made his bow as a Town player last night after completing a six-month loan move to the Galpharm Stadium from Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old Blackburn-born product, who came on as a 61st-minute substitute for Jordan Rhodes, is the eighth summer arrival into Lee Clark’s League I squad and the manager has high hopes for the 5ft 10in frontman.Related content
Clark explained: “We’re always on the lookout for young, talented footballers and Joe fits that remit perfectly.
“He has a very good record at this level with Carlisle and went to Nottingham Forest for a lot of money (£1.14m), where he has done reasonably well.
“He’s a very talented footballer and we’ve chased him for a long time. We pursued every avenue in January, but Forest didn’t want to do business; this summer we started off wanting to do a permanent deal or a longer term loan but Forest still think he has a future with them, so we have settled on a window to window loan. We will see what happens from there.”
It’s an opportunity for Garner to reproduce the form which brought him a goal every other game with Carlisle in 2007-08.
“All our strikers have different assets and for his size, Joe is very good in the air,” added Clark.
“He also has a good touch and good awareness, as well as the goal scoring record at this level when he had a great partnership with Danny Graham at Carlisle.
“We just need to kick-start him again, because for whatever reason he didn’t get a lot of games during the second half of last season with Nottingham Forest. They had what you could consider six first-team strikers at the club.
“From our point of view, we’re happy he is on board and looking forward to working with him.”
Garner started his career with Blackburn Rovers, had a loan at Carlisle and then made that move permanent before Forest made their move in July 2008. The former England Under 19 cap signed a four-year contract with them and has 10 goals in 51 appearances (34 starts).
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