Steve Cooper is preparing for the Championship play-offs for the third season in a row.
The Welshman’s Swansea City side pipped Nottingham Forest to sixth spot in 2019/20 before losing to Brentford over two legs, and were beaten by the Bees in the final last term, meaning that going one step further this time around will see the Reds into the Premier League.
As every manager tends to do, Cooper does not get too high after a win or too low following a defeat, and the 42-year-old was calm and collected when asked, by The Athletic, what promotion would mean to him.
He said: “Am I enjoying the journey? Yes, I have enjoyed it from day one.
“How could you not? Every day it is brilliant to be here.
“I love coming into work.
“When we win I feel on top of the world.
“When we lose, it hurts.
“When it hurts, you know that something matters to you.
“That is really important.
“If we do it, I will tell you what it means to me…”
Sheffield United’s 4-0 thrashing of champions Fulham on the final day of the season will have alerted Forest, after their concession of a late Keane Lewis-Potter equaliser at Hull City saw them drop from third to fourth place in the second tier.
Quiz: Which club did Nottingham Forest sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?
Cooper is destined to manage in the Premier League in the near future, and their could be some high profile interest in his services this summer if promotion is not achieved.
However, the journey that has taken Forest from rock bottom when the Welshman took over, to within one game of breaking into the automatic promotion places has built a bond between the manager and the rest of the club that cannot be underestimated.
In any other season Paul Heckingbottom would have been a strong contender for Manager of the Season given the way he has improved the Blades, but Forest’s resurgence has been on another level and it will be fascinating to watch the two clubs lock horns, with the first leg kicking off on Saturday.