Nottingham Forest moved to within three points of Bournemouth on Tuesday evening with an impressive 1-0 win at Fulham.
The Reds have been on an incredible journey since Steve Cooper replaced Chris Hughton in the dugout with the side rock bottom of the Championship.
Even opposing players have taken notice of the outstanding work of the Welshman, and Derby County Player of the Season Curtis Davies had his say on Cooper’s impact at Forest when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “Regardless of my feelings about the club, it’s clear he’s done a fantastic job.
“Unfortunately, him coming into the club was at the expense of my former manager (Chris Hughton at Birmingham City), someone I have huge respect for – but at the start of the season the club had lost a bit of its spark.
“When we played them earlier in the season, I think it was a game where Chrissy was on the verge of losing his job and in the second half they basically threw the game at us.
“They ended up getting the equaliser.
“The second game, I don’t think there was much in it.
“But they won the game and played some great football.
“Keinan Davis has been a great signing, Brennan Johnson has been used really well, leaving him up the pitch to frustrate teams.
“Not only has he got pace, he’s got skill to break down teams on the counter.
“Not for one minute am I going to support Nottingham Forest in the play-offs but I don’t think it’s a team you’d bet against given Steve Cooper’s experience in the last couple of years.
“He’s gone semi-final, final — what can he do next?
“He feels like a perfect fit for the club.
“Not just the way he wants to play football but his personality.
“Forest was a squad that was full of players who all thought they should be playing at Championship level, every week.
“That’s 1-20 who felt like they should be playing.
“He’s found a way of keeping people onside.
“He keeps them ready and keeps them motivated.
“A hands-on coach but one who people want to work for.”
Forest have put themselves in a position where if they win their final three games of the season, they are most likely to pip the Cherries to second place, which would be an incredible feat considering where they have come from this term.
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The task has become even more difficult in the last few weeks, having lost Keinan Davis to injury for the remainder of the league games and potentially even the play-offs should they get there.
The Reds’ play-off place was confirmed with the win at Craven Cottage, but with Sam Surridge coming into the side to such good effect of late, the dream will still be to earn automatic promotion.
Cooper left Swansea City after two consecutive play-off finishes, with a very strong reputation and a chance of moving to the Premier League, however no one could have expected him to perform just this well at the City Ground, and the best could be yet to come.