Nottingham Forest are somewhat enjoying life after Chris Hughton’s dismissal – and Sky Sports’ EFL presenter David Prutton is predicting Steve Cooper to get his first win as the Tricky Trees’ head coach against Barnsley on Wednesday night.
Hughton’s near year-long reign came to an end after a dismal 2-0 defeat by Middlesbrough almost two weeks ago, and only a couple of days later were Forest victorious on their travels under the caretaker guidance of Steven Reid.
The former Republic of Ireland international guided the club to a 2-0 success over Huddersfield Town before handing over the reins to Cooper, who has kept Reid on his new-looking coaching staff at the City Ground.
Cooper received a warm welcome at the weekend as Millwall visited Forest’s home, and they escaped with a point as Max Lowe cancelled out Matt Smith’s opener for the Lions.
Quiz: Have Nottingham Forest ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
On Wednesday evening Forest will make the trip up the M1 to take on Barnsley, who are not the fearsome side that Valerien Ismael got into play-offs last season – they in-fact sit in 20th position under new boss Markus Schopp having not picked up a victory since the second match of the season.
The Tykes succumbed to a 1-0 loss at Blackpool on Saturday and Prutton believes that more misery is to come for Schopp and co when Forest come to town.
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“Valerien Ismael was always going to be a tough act to follow at Barnsley, and when you take into account the players that departed the club in the summer, you felt it could be a difficult season for Markus Schopp,” Prutton wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“Steve Cooper’s reign at Nottingham Forest began with a draw on Saturday, and a victory here could potentially lift them out of the bottom three, which would be a massive boost.
“I fancy them to claim an important win. 0-1.”
The departure of Hughton seems to have lifted spirits at Forest, who now have a more progressive man in the dugout and they finally have their first league win on the board thanks to Reid.
There were positives to take from the draw against Millwall despite it only being a point and they come up against a team who look to be in trouble if they don’t pick up a win soon.
The majority of Barnsley’s squad from last season still remain at the club so it’s puzzling to think why the performances are still not there but the first reason that comes to mind is that Ismael is not leading them anymore.
Against a rejuvenated Forest team I can see more struggles on the horizon for Barnsley at Oakwell with a narrow Forest win perhaps incoming.