This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Nottingham Forest have enjoyed an excellent rise up the Championship table under Steve Cooper, with the former Swansea City boss taking his new side from bottom spot to the very edge of the play-offs.
Forest have picked up 30 points from 15 games under their new manager, and are now without a Championship defeat in their last nine games.
Quiz: Have Nottingham Forest signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
Sitting one point from the play-offs, and nine points from the automatic promotion positions, the Reds are progressing very well Cooper’s stewardship.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts as to whether or not they consider Forest to be automatic promotion contenders…
I wouldn’t say so at this stage.
Steve Cooper has done fantastically well to get Forest going and into the play-off conversation.
Results are there, performances are there to match as well. January is going to be a big month for the club, too, and you should never, say never.
However, nine points is still a lot of ground to make up to second. Bournemouth have dipped significantly recently, but they will turn it around. Even if they don’t, the likes of Blackburn and West Brom are just better placed than Forest right now.
If Cooper can keep this run of form going then who knows? But that’s maybe something to revisit in a month or so.
For now, Forest are play-off contenders, which is what most fans would have dreamed of when Cooper arrived.
You have to feel as Forest are certainly in with a shout with a top two place this season.
With Steve Cooper’s side just seven points adrift of those automatic promotion spots, and half the campaign left to be played, there is more than enough time for the Reds to overhaul that deficit.
Indeed, with Forest having been in excellent form ever since Cooper’s appointment, and the top two of Fulham and Bournemouth both stumbling right now, there is a chance that it may not take that long for them to really start putting the pressure on either.
There will of course be plenty of twists and turns between now and the end of the season, but with Forest showing little signs of faltering under Cooper, you have to feel that they have a chance of being in this all the way through to the campaign’s conclusion.
I would say that at this stage of the campaign they certainly have every chance.
With January on the horizon as well they also have the opportunity to add to what is an already talented squad.
As Ian Holloway once told me in an interview, it only takes one player to make all the difference in the race for promotion.
So by that notion Steve Cooper will be looking to find that individual who can take his side to the next level.
At the moment I think the most important thing for Forest is that they now have an identity and clear plan of how they are going to do things, and that will only serve them well moving forwards.