Steve Cooper was appointed as the manager of Nottingham Forest in September with just one objective which was to get out of the relegation zone. They had a horrendous start to the season with six defeats in their first seven league games. It brought back memories of the previous season when they were 20th after eight games. Fast-forward eight months and they are hours from playing in the biggest match of their recent history, the playoff final. This is their best chance to reach the Premier League after spending almost 25 years away.
“It was still fairly early on in the season [when I joined], with seven or eight games gone, so there was still a lot to play for,” Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper said. “We had three games before the international break and agreed with the players to set the objective that, by the time the international break had come that we were over the dotted line of the relegation zone. None of us liked the sight of being where we were.”
“We got a draw here against Millwall then went and beat Barnsley and Birmingham away and we played well. Truth be told, the international break came at a good time because we gave ourselves a chance to get a little bit of work done with the team,” he added. “We have taken it step-by-step. I sometimes get a bit paranoid that the local media have heard me say ‘next game’ week in, week out, but that’s literally what it has been. There have been a couple of times where I have just had a look at the league table and, though we’ve gone on some really good runs this year, we didn’t seem to be going anywhere.”