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Steve Cooper sacked by Nottingham Forest after more than two years in charge | Football News | Sky Sports

Steve Cooper sacked by Nottingham Forest after more than two years in charge | Football News | Sky Sports

Steve Cooper has been sacked as head coach of Nottingham Forest.

Forest have lost five of their last six Premier League games, including last Friday’s 2-0 defeat at home by Tottenham.

Cooper took over at the club in September 2021 when they were bottom of the Championship. He led them to play-off success that season, beating Huddersfield at Wembley in the final.

He kept Forest in the Premier League last season, doing so after a 1-0 win at home to Arsenal in May, and has seen a high volume of players come into the squad since returning to the top flight.

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Nottingham Forest’s former head coach Steve Cooper said the job meant the world to him in his last press conference before losing his job at the City Ground.

Former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is the favourite to replace Cooper at the City Ground and Sky Sports News understands that the Portuguese manager could be appointed ahead of Forest’s next game at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.

Another ex-Wolves boss, Julen Lopetegui, has also been under consideration, along with former Eintracht Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner.

Announcing the news of Cooper’s sacking, Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis said: “Everyone at Nottingham Forest would like to thank Steve for his superb contribution to our football club. His achievement in guiding Forest back to the Premier League will undoubtedly remain an iconic moment in the club’s history.


“We thank Steve for his dedication and commitment during his time with us, as well as the incredible connection he forged with our supporters and the city of Nottingham.

“Steve will always remain a friend of the club and will forever be welcome at The City Ground. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

‘The writing was on the wall – this was inevitable’

Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett:

I don’t think there are any surprises here, especially for Steve Cooper. He’s been expecting this for several weeks, and this has been several weeks in the planning.

“On Sky Sports News, we told you two weeks ago that after four straight defeats for Forest, Steve Cooper would not survive a fifth. And so that was in the build-up to the game against Wolves at Molineux, they got a decent result and a 1-1 draw and that led to a stay of execution.


“Evangelos Marinakis, the Forest owner, was impressed by the fight and spirit shown in that game but in the meantime, he was still looking at his options if he were to move on from Cooper. And the weekend defeat to Spurs solidified that.

“It was not one defeat that cost Cooper, there was a gradual breakdown between him and Marinakis. Communication between the two of them became difficult towards the end of his tenure. And there was an inevitability about it.

“It was almost a long lap of honour and farewell Cooper had with the Forest fans. He and the Forest fans knew the writing was on the wall with one win in 13 matches.

“Cooper will always remain a popular figure at Forest. He did the unthinkable and what so many Forest managers failed to do which was get them back into the top flight after 23 years away. And he did it after taking Forest over at the bottom of the Championship.

“Marinakis has brought in 43 players and over £300m of talent since Forest were promoted in May 2022 with a view to taking them into the top half. The trouble with that is it was a difficult task for Cooper to bed all those players in and bring a togetherness to the squad. He prefers a tightly-knit squad to work with. So there was a difference in opinion, so this was inevitable.”

Why do Forest want Nuno?

Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett:

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Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett provides an update on the managerial position at Nottingham Forest with Steve Cooper’s position looking increasingly uncertain.

“My understanding is that the football bosses at Nottingham Forest accept there were mitigating circumstances around Nuno’s appointment at Tottenham, that he didn’t have a great relationship with Daniel Levy and took over in difficult circumstances.

“I think there will be some people on the outside who will look at a potential relationship between Nuno and Evangelos Marinakis and say that could be a recipe a disaster – they are two very strong men with strong opinions on both sides.

“But crucially, part of the reason Nuno appeals to Forest is because of his success at Wolves and the fact he was a head coach at Molineux – that’s what Marinakis and the people at Forest would like. Nuno accepted at Wolves that other people might be buying the players, with his involvement of course but not the final say, and his job was to bond them together and form a tactic that worked.


“And that’s a similar structure to the one they’ve got at Nottingham Forest, so that’s a big reason why he appeals. He’s available having left that job in Saudi Arabia and Marinakis is impressed by the man that he is and the manager he’s proved to be in the past. He’s looked past what happened at Tottenham.”

Nottingham Forest’s next five games

December 23: Bournemouth (H), Premier League, kick-off 3pm

December 26: Newcastle (A), Premier League, kick-off 8.30pm

December 30: Manchester United (H), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 5.30pm

January 7: Blackpool or Forest Green (H), FA Cup third round, kick-off 2pm

January 20: Brentford (A), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 5.30pm

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