June 16, 2024

Steve Cooper always working ‘four games from the sack’ at Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper is constantly four games away from the sack at The City Ground.

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper is constantly “working four games away from the sack”, as Sunday People chief sports writer Neil Moxley explains one of the main factors “heaping pressure” on the head coach at The City Ground.

Nottingham Forest owner backs Steve Cooper despite poor form

The Tricky Trees have endured a mixed start to their second season back in the Premier League and are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s near brush with relegation to the Championship.

Forest have signed many players since the 2022 summer transfer window, with Cooper contending to get the best out of his new arrivals while keeping his squad happy and settled. But the two-time European Cup winners will nervously be looking over their shoulder heading into the winter months.

Cooper’s memorable spell at Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest were far from where they are now when Cooper initially took the reins at The City Ground. The Welshman had guided Swansea City to the Championship play-off final during the 2020/21 campaign but left the Swansea.com Stadium following their defeat to Brentford at Wembley Stadium.

Forest had barely challenged for promotion in the previous decade and, come the 2021/22 campaign, were dangerously drifting towards relegation to League One. On 21st September 2021, the East Midlands giants confirmed Cooper’s arrival at The City Ground, replacing Chris Hughton. The 43-year-old had become Forest’s 14th permanent managerial appointment in ten years, hinting at a period of instability for the Championship outfit.

Cooper arrived at the club with the side sitting at the bottom of the second tier. Three days prior, on 18th September 2021, they had secured their first league victory of the campaign, a 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town. An inspired run of form following the arrival of the former England U17 World Cup-winning manager secured the Tricky Trees a place in the Championship play-offs, and they duly dispatched Huddersfield 1-0 in the final at Wembley.

In their first season back in the Premier League, Forest spent almost £165m in transfer fees on 30 players to give themselves a chance of survival. Despite battling relegation for most of the campaign, Cooper’s side secured their survival on the season’s penultimate gameweek with a 1-0 success over Nottingham Forest.

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During the 2023 summer transfer window, Forest opened their chequebooks again, splashing close to a £55m net spend. With 12 Premier League games played, the Tricky Trees are eight points above the relegation zone. They are heading into a busy winter period. In October, Moxley told GIVEMESPORT that Cooper was constantly walking a tightrope at The City Ground.

Steve Cooper – Premier League managerial record
Matches 50
Wins 12
Draws 15
Losses 23
Goals For 52
Goals Against 86
Stats according to the Premier League’s official website

Neil Moxley update – Steve Cooper

Moxley suggests that Forest’s poor form away from home will be used as a stick to beat Cooper with. The Tricky Trees have big ambitions, and the journalist has suggested that the head coach must get used to constantly being four games away from the sack. Moxley told GIVEMESPORT:

“They managed to upset the form book by beating Villa last time at home [5th November]. But it’s just heaping the pressure on Cooper, and this failure to win away from home will be used as a stick to beat him with. Forest have big ambitions. I know some players have been imposed upon him, and I’m not exactly sure how much input he’s had over those signings.

“So, again, it’s tough for him to manage. But in terms of his future, I think Nottingham Forest fans, the football world in general, and Cooper will just have to get used to the fact that he’s forever working four games away from the sack, which is a shame.”

Nottingham Forest transfer news

According to Bild, Nottingham Forest are one of several Premier League outfits interested in signing VfB Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy. Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur are also monitoring Guinea international, who could become available for transfer during the 2024 winter transfer market.

In October, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed that Guirassy’s contract has a release clause worth just €17.5m (£15.3m). Therefore, adding the 27-year-old, who has scored 15 goals in nine Bundesliga appearances this term, could be an excellent piece of business if Forest can get the deal signed and sealed.

Cooper’s side will return to the Premier League following the season’s third international break on 25th November, when they host Europa League contenders Brighton & Hove Albion at The City Ground. The Tricky Trees open December with another home fixture, welcoming Sean Dyche’s Everton to the East Midlands.


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