In the first nine games of the season, Nottingham Forest has displayed positive signs despite significant changes, including an active transfer window. They’ve accumulated 10 points so far but have gone five games without a victory.
Last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Luton Town, during which Forest squandered a two-goal lead, led to some boos from the City Ground crowd. As they prepare to face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, Steve Cooper underlines the fact that the journey toward progress will include setbacks and won’t yield instant results.
“Being 2-0 up at home, completely dominating a game and not winning, there is frustration everywhere,” he remarked. “That’s acceptable, though I don’t like it, obviously, but we have to acknowledge it, and I certainly do.
“As for expectations, I’m uncertain. What I do know is that this season won’t be a walk in the park. If anyone believes otherwise – be it at the training ground, with me, or the team – they’ll be mistaken. We don’t possess that mentality.
“We’ve spent more than 20 years outside the Premier League and are only in our second season back in it. It takes many years to truly establish a squad and team.
“We’ve been back in the Premier League for just over 12 months. There are numerous examples to look at, teams that took a while to become established at this level.
“Take, for instance, Brighton. Examine their initial years in the Premier League and what they are achieving now. I’m not suggesting we will follow the same path – although we all hope to – but their progress is admirable.
“Consider that we are only in our second season, with the influx of new players we’ve signed last season and this season… There’s also been substantial changes behind the scenes, including staffing, all aimed at improvement.
“But progress isn’t instantaneous. It requires several years. It involves highs and lows to evolve into a robust squad, team, and staff that can comfortably compete at this level.
“We’re not at the beginning, but we’re far from the end. This season will be a significant challenge, there’s no doubt about that. Every season in the Premier League is challenging, especially when you’re striving to establish yourself as a Premier League club both on and off the pitch.
“We are in the process of transitioning toward that goal. That’s why we won’t get overly euphoric after a win and won’t plummet into despair after a disappointing result. We may be disappointed because we’re competitive and strive for success. However, it will take time to become the club and team we aspire to be.