Ryan Yates has told Nottinghamshire Live that there is a ‘massive contrast’ in the Nottingham Forest side after the club picked up another win at the weekend.
The club may only be 17th in the league table as things stand but it is a far cry from the performances and results earlier on in the campaign that saw them struggling near the relegation places.
They hadn’t got a win on the board until September and it was a run of games that ultimately cost manager Chris Hughton his job.
The former boss was tasked with taking the club back up towards the top end of the table but it had quite the opposite effect and the team were left struggling in the doldrums of the second tier.
Into the breach stepped Steve Cooper, who has so far turned things around and dragged Forest out of the mire. With a draw and two wins in his first three games, he has made the club one of the form teams in the league (in fact, Forest are currently sat in third place in the form table based on their last five fixtures).
On Saturday, they cruised to another three points against Birmingham City, with goals from Lewis Grabban, Djed Spence and Ryan Yates wrapping up the three points.
Quiz: 23 questions about some of Nottingham Forest’s best ever academy graduates – Can you score full marks?
The latter of the three has now heaped praise on his new boss thanks to the fresh atmosphere and winning mentality he has brought to the City Ground.
Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live, he said: “It’s a massive contrast. We’re winning games of football. We weren’t winning games for a long, long time. And I know how awful that is.
“Every single away game we have a massive away following, and the home support is unbelievable, even when we’re not picking up the results. To then just get some wins, it feels like the pressure is off and you can let the shackles off a little bit.
“You can start to enjoy it a little bit, because you are giving the fans back what they deserve.”
The midfielder has been a frequent player for Forest so far this season and has put in a string of steady performances that have made him one of the most reliable faces in the current squad. With the 23-year old happy with where things are headed at the City Ground – and a new atmosphere breathing fresh life through the club – it could be onwards and upwards for Steve Cooper’s side from here on out.
Forest have certainly made a dramatic improvement since Steve Cooper was appointed and it isn’t just in terms of results – even the general performance of the players on a weekly basis has gone up a gear.
The players look and sound happy and that can only be a positive thing for the club going forward, especially after how things have been over the course of the past few months for the side and its fans.
If they can continue in this rich vein of form, then there is no reason why they couldn’t now surge towards the top end of the table as they originally hoped.