BT Sport commentator Darren Fletcher has called for Nottingham Forest to present manager Steve Cooper with a new deal immediately.
When Cooper was appointed as head coach at the City Ground in September, not even the most optimistic of supporters would have envisaged a play-off finish, let alone promotion to the Premier League.
However, such is the tactical acumen of the Welshman, he has led a tremendous turnaround in the east Midlands and guided Forest back to the top flight for the first time in 23 years.
Prior to this campaign, England’s U17 World Cup-winning manager saw his Swansea City side finish in the top six in back-to-back seasons and now having finally clinched promotion to the Premier League, Fletcher has urged the Forest board to tie the 42-year-old down to a new contract.
Speaking on the Garibaldi Red Podcast, he said: “Steve Cooper’s got a year left, and they cannot, cannot, lose that man – cannot. They could manage losing anybody else and replace them, but the heartbeat of that club is him, and they’ve got to sit down with Steve.”
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TIF Thoughts on Steve Cooper and Nottingham Forest…
Cooper’s former Liverpool U18s captain Jordan Lussey has tipped the coach to go on and become the manager of the “big teams” in the Premier League – and it’s not hard to see why there would be interest.
After a sixth defeat in seven matches at home to Middlesbrough (2-0) and their worst start to a season in 100 years, Cooper was brought in to replace Chris Hughton with the club second from bottom in the second tier.
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He led the Young Lions to World Cup success back in 2017, but promotion with Forest has to be right up there for the City Ground boss considering where they were – so the club would be wise to heed Fletcher’s warning.