Nottingham Forest sack Cooper after being dragged into relegation battle

Forest sit just one place above the Premier League relegation zone

Sonia Twigg
Tuesday 19 December 2023 18:27 GMT
Steve Cooper has been sacked by Nottingham Forest
Steve Cooper has been sacked by Nottingham Forest (PA Wire)

Steve Cooper has been sacked as manager of Nottingham Forest after winning just one match since September.

Forest head into the festive season in 17th place, five points clear of the dreaded relegation zone, but that is not enough for the owners.

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.”

Cooper started in the role in September 2021, with the club’s owners went on a spending spree, splashing out over £160m on transfers when they first reached the top flight, on 21 transfers, outspending the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City.

It initially paid dividends, they finished 16th in the league last season, four points above the drop zone, but this season the club have been unable to push on. The Welshman has always had strong supporter backing, especially since leading the club into the top flight via the play-offs in May 2022.

Yet Forest have decided to remove their manager after five defeats and a draw from their last six matches. Cooper had held on following a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham earlier this month, but the final nail in the coffin proved to be the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham.

The club have been linked with former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Nuno has been without a job since he was dismissed by Saudi Arabia Pro League side Al-Ittihad in November, just months after winning the title.

He has not managed in the league since a 17-game run at Spurs that came to an end in November 2021, but did lead Wolves into the top flight before that, and kept them there for three years. Reports suggest he has flown to have a meeting with Marinakis.

Former Eintracht Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner and former Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui are among the other names that have been linked.

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