Steve Cooper is a candidate to become Nottingham Forest’s new boss, according to the Athletic.
Forest are searching for a new manager after parting company with Chris Hughton this morning.
The Reds have lost six of their opening seven games this season and have picked up only one point, leaving the writing very much on the wall following last night’s defeat to Middlesbrough.
After announcing Forest’s departure this morning, Forest are now looking to make a quick appointment, with Steve Cooper said to be on their radar.
Cooper has been out of work since leaving Swansea City at the end of last season after a two-year stint in South Wales.
Here, we take a look at three qualities Cooper would bring to Forest if appointed…
Cooper made a name for himself as a coach with the England youth setup. He guided the Under-17s to the FIFA World Cup in 2017, working with a group of players including the likes of Phil Foden, Morgan Gibbs-White, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Rhian Brewster.
Both Gibbs-White and Brewster were signed by Cooper at various stages during his two-year spell at Swansea, where he also nurtured the likes of Marc Guehi, Freddie Woodman and Connor Roberts.
Forest have a plethora of talented young players at the club – it is something they take great pride from in developing players from the Nigel Doughty Academy.
It is exciting to think about what Cooper could do with a young squad at the City Ground, which includes the likes of James Garner, Brennan Johnson and Alex Mighten.
Willing to change system
One thing that perhaps hindered Chris Hughton was his reluctance to change formation, especially during tough times in the early parts of this season.
The 62-year-old stuck with his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation throughout his tenure, but ultimately, the football became drab and chances were not being created.
In Cooper, they would have a progressive coach who likes to switch between formations. In Swansea’s first season under him, they mainly went with a 4-2-3-1, but last season, the Swans deployed a 3-5-2 and 3-4-1-2 system.
This suggests that Cooper is someone who is willing to change systems and adopt new ways of thinking to suit the group of players he has.
Forest brought in Max Lowe and Djed Spence towards the end of the window – two full-backs more than capable of playing at wing-back in a similar formation.
With three centre-halves comfortable at playing out from the back also at the club in Joe Worrall, Scott McKenna, Loic Mbe Soh, it could be a fine fit in that respect.
Cooper is only 41 years old and is still relatively new to life in management at club level.
The Reds are embarking on a new chapter off the pitch, with new CEO Dane Murphy saying it will take around two to three transfer windows to fully embed a new philosophy at the club.
In Cooper, they would have a younger, up-and-coming coach for the long-term who is willing to embark on that journey with the Reds.
In his short time in management so far, Cooper has finished in the play-offs twice and came 90 minutes away from managing in the Premier League.
That is promising, and could give Forest fans hope for the future.