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‘We are a big enough club’ – Steve Cooper talks Nottingham Forest’s footballing approach

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Steve Cooper wants his Nottingham Forest side to stick to their own principles regardless of the opposition they face.

Cooper has enjoyed an impressive start to life in charge of Forest, yielding seven points from his first three games at the helm.

The Reds signed off before the international break with away wins over Barnsley and Birmingham City, after drawing at home to Millwall.

Forest won 3-1 at Barnsley, coming from behind to produce an electric second-half display at Oakwell, before winning 3-0 at Birmingham.

It was the first time Forest have scored three or more goals in successive away games since 2015, which is testament to the way Cooper wants his team to play – brave in possession and playing out from the back even away from home.

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Speaking in a fans’ forum earlier this week, Cooper reiterated that point, insisting that he wants his team to stick to their own philosophy of who they face.

He said: “There’s got to be a set of principles you stick to that you really believe in – whether you’re playing top of the league or bottom of the league, or biggest budget or lowest budget, this is how Forest play.

“We’re going to aim for this every single game that we play. We will be doing that.

“We’ve also got to respect the opponent. For example Birmingham at the weekend, it would be foolish to not talk about set-pieces. Every time a ball goes out of play in our half, it’s coming into the box from a throw.

“We had to deal with that, but I still wanted the team to build from the back, play forward, be exciting, get good numbers up the pitch and create real opportunities to score.

“There’s a set of principles that we will work on every single day, but then you sort of tweak things for what’s coming. Hopefully it’s our way that is the biggest contributor, but respect the opponent, see what they bring and where you can hurt them.

“I think we’ve got a good enough set of players and we are a big enough club. I want us to get to a place where wherever we go, we’re bringing our game and we’re going to win. We won’t win every game, but we will try.”

The Verdict

Forest’s fearlessness in their first few games under Cooper has been so impressive.

They could have easily scored more than three goals in either of those two away games, and the difference under the Welshman is something else.

If they can tighten up from set-pieces, they should be a hard team to beat going forward.


Nottingham-based journalist who regularly covers Nottingham Forest home and away.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘We are a big enough club’ – Steve Cooper talks Nottingham Forest’s footballing approach

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