Nottingham Forest striker Lyle Taylor believes new manager Steve Cooper will be instrumental in helping younger players at the City Ground develop with his previous experience with youth teams, speaking on the BBC Football Daily Podcast.
The 41-year-old was officially appointed as Forest manager on Tuesday, just five days after Chris Hughton’s dismissal after winning just one point from a possible 21 in their opening seven league games of 2021/22.
Cooper comes in having guided Swansea City to consecutive top-six finishes during his time in South Wales, being knocked out by Brentford in the semi-finals having got there in a remarkable fashion at Forest’s experience during the 2019/20 campaign before losing out to the same opposition in May’s final at Wembley.
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Although many saw this as a success from a Swansea point-of-view after high-profile sales of the likes of Oli McBurnie, Joe Rodon and Dan James in recent years, with the Welshman set to lead the Swans into his third season at the Swansea.com Stadium, he left at the end of July due to reported concerns over the club’s direction.
After nearly two months without a job, having been linked with the Crystal Palace vacancy during the summer, he is now back in the second tier looking to boost a side currently sitting three points adrift from safety.
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One man who has been impressed by the 41-year-old’s immediate impact is Forest forward Lyle Taylor, who revealed to the BBC Football Daily Podcast: “It’s exciting because we’re talking about a young manager who has got bundles of experience coaching younger players and obviously a massive love for the game and studying the game.
“That will do us no end of good because we have got quite a young squad. We have got boys who will need a bit of direction.
“I’ll be honest, I’ve learnt new things in three days working under this manager.
“It’s almost like tearing the handbook up and going again. It’s amazing that, at 31, I’m able to sit here and say ‘I’m learning again, I’m learning new things’. I think that’s brilliant.”
Cooper spent time at Wrexham and Premier League giant Liverpool before moving on to the England youth setup in 2014, spending five years there before his departure to Swansea City in what was his first taste of senior management.
After hiring and firing numerous managers in recent years, Steve Cooper seems like the perfect appointment that could stay at the City Ground in the long term if he isn’t poached by another club before then.
One criticism of the new Forest manager from his days at Swansea was his style of play, but this won’t really matter to the East Midlands side for now with their priority firmly focused on getting away from danger.
They have the capability to do this with the players they have at their disposal – and you can only see the likes of James Garner, Will Swan, Djed Spence, Alex Mighten and other young players improving under a man who spent time with Liverpool and England in the past.
Getting the very best out of his players will be the key in Forest’s potential rise up the Championship table, something Cooper was arguably able to do at Swansea after seeing some of his most prized assets be sold during his time there.
With the City Ground crowd behind them and a tie against Millwall, they have a great chance to get off to the best possible start under their new boss this afternoon, but things may take time and patience will be required whilst he assesses his squad.