Steve Cooper has finally got Nottingham Forest back firing in the Championship and looking more like the team that continually threatened the top six rather than the bottom three.
He’ll obviously have to keep the form up and the season is still in its infancy but based on the showings so far, it has been very positive stuff at the club since the former Swansea boss took charge.
As part of his task to get Forest back to winning ways and back up towards the top end of the second tier, he may need to consider a squad refresh and clear out as his first order of business in the winter transfer window (and possibly the summer window too).
Have Nottingham Forest had a higher or lower average attendance compared to these 23 sides this season?
Who should the manager consider getting rid of, then?
Cooper likely won’t get rid of many, as he won’t want to tinker too much too soon and risk losing the good streak that he has got going with his new side. However, he’ll likely want to bring in players of his own who match his philosophy and the way he wants to play and some will have to leave to make way for them.
Joao Carvalho has been on the bench in recent weeks but there are no signs of him getting regular minutes anytime soon. He can’t break into the starting lineup and last played back in August – and even then it was only for 45 minutes. If he isn’t in Cooper’s plans, then it could be worthwhile trying to find a buyer.
He’s young and there’s perhaps potential there for him to grow and get better but it looks less and less likely that he is going to get that time to potentially shine at Forest. If they could try and recoup some of the fee that they paid for him, then that could be seen as good business by the boss in January.
Another player is Gaetan Bong, who has also not managed to get much action recently. Cooper has preferred others over him and he doesn’t exactly fit the way that the former Swansea manager is setting his team up to play at the minute. He’s also been at the club since 2020 and yet has only played 16 times for them – and at 33-years-old, could be replaced by a younger option in his position.
If there are no plans for him to suddenly get more action, then he could be another.
Forest could also consider Jack Colback – although he featured in Forest’s superb 3-0 win over Birmingham and looked solid, so could be in Cooper’s plans – and Will Swan could certainly benefit from some time out on loan too.
It’s clear then that Steve Cooper may have some work to do in clearing out some of the lesser needed names at the club – but if he can do that and give the squad a refresh, it could further boost the work he has done at the club so far and help them get back up towards the play-off places.