McCleary was labelled a "special talent" by Forest boss Steve Cotterill after he inspired a stunning 7-3 win over Leeds United.
Cotterill said: "He's a wonderful boy, he really is. He's scored more goals tonight than games he played last season but he's a great boy.
"He's come from non-league, he's a special talent, he's raw, he's got two good feet, he can head it, he's strong. I think he can go on to be even better, I think he's a top lad."