With a potential break in the season or a move to behind closed doors fixtures a topic of debate at the moment, Steve Cooper reiterated the importance of the role Nottingham Forest supporters play when the Reds play at the City Ground.
Forest cut the gap between themselves and the play-off places to just one point with a 2-1 win over Hull City at the weekend, and will be hoping to break into the top six when they have two home games in five days in the next couple of weeks.
Cooper explained how crucial the Forest home faithful are when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “When we were 1-0 down, the supporters drove us on. The lads came out and played well. It could have been very different — I’m sure it would have been even harder without the fans.
“I managed Swansea here a couple of times when there were no fans here. It was a very different experience. The Championship is a really good league when it comes to atmosphere in stadiums — but particularly here, when we get the kind of backing we are, it makes a massive difference. It’s fairly new for me still — I’ve only been here two minutes! — but so many people talk to you about it being an event when you come here, and it is.”
Lewis Grabban and Brennan Johnson provided the goods to turn the tide against the Tigers, after Keane Lewis-Potter had put the newly promoted side in front on the verge of half time. The Reds’ run since Chris Hughton’s departure now stands at one loss in 16 league games, incredible stuff that will certainly see them into the top six if they can sustain that form.
Quiz: Have Nottingham Forest signed a player from each of these 20 clubs in the last 5 seasons?
We have seen an obvious return of home advantage this season in the EFL, with cauldron atmospheres pushing the home side forward and sucking the ball into the net. The 2020/21 campaign was largely a turgid affair with lots of low scoring games particularly in the Championship, therefore with Forest on such an outstanding recent run it could halt their momentum to have to go back to playing the eerie behind closed doors spectacle.
Even with Forest’s recent run, it is set to be a very tight race for the top six with a number of sides in the chasing pack performing better than those above them. Hopefully, the support from the stands can remain a constant throughout a tough patch on and off the pitch for all EFL clubs.