Former Nottingham Forest striker Nigel Jemson has hit back at Simon Jordan after he claimed the current Reds squad had cheated former manager Chris Hughton.
Hughton was sacked by the East Midlands club last month after a dreadful start to the 2021/22 campaign and fortunes have improved dramatically under new manager Steve Cooper – with Forest taking seven points from three games since his arrival.
Speaking on talkSPORT earlier this month, Jordan took aim at the Reds players and suggested their turnaround in form was an indication they’d cheated their previous manager.
Jemson spent three years at the City Ground as a player and he has come to the current squad’s aid by hitting back at the former Crystal Palace owner.
He told This Is Futbol: “I actually like listening to him, but he’s very controversial. He’ll say what he needs to say to get people to listen to the radio.
“Cheat is a very strong word. Is that a slur on the Nottingham Forest players? I don’t know.
“But unless you’re in the dressing room, on the training ground or at matches, those comments you take with a pinch of salt because he doesn’t know what’s going off. He can only hear gossip from other people.
“To call people cheats, I mean, me personally, how can you go out to play a game in front of 25,000 passionate supporters thinking, ‘I want to play badly because I don’t like the manager’? I just don’t get it. I’m not having it.”
Cooper’s unbeaten start to life at Forest is set to be tested once again once the Championship gets back underway as they welcome Blackpool to the City Ground on Saturday before travelling to Bristol City in midweek and then hosting Fulham the following weekend.
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Forest’s turnaround in form since Hughton’s exit has been significant but laying all the blame at the players’ door is over the top, so it’s good to see Jemson hitting back at Jordan on the Forest squad’s behalf.
Things are much more complex than simply players not wanting to play for a particular manager and you feel there were likely many factors at play during the early season struggles.
It’s not something that Cooper’s squad need concern themselves with, however, and their full focus should be on continuing their impressive recent form over the next few weeks or so.
Given where Blackpool are in the table, City’s form at home, and Fulham’s recent wobble, the Reds have to feel they could take nine points from the next three games.