Nottingham Forest press conference notes – Cooper makes progress point as support shown…

Latest Nottingham Forest news as Steve Cooper’s Reds prepare to face Aston Villa at the City Ground.

His inquisitor hadn’t even finished asking the question before Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper responded.

“Glass half full,” the Welshman interjected, as it was put to him that his team are five points above the relegation zone but also five points off the top eight. Cooper applied that type of positivity throughout his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Aston Villa, along with a dose of perspective.

The Reds take on Unai Emery’s side at the City Ground having gone six games without a win. Below is a look at what Cooper had to say ahead of this weekend’s fixture.

Making progress

Forest haven’t won since beating Chelsea on September 2, although they have registered four draws during that time. Points have undoubtedly been dropped on certain occasions, but Cooper emphasised just how far the Reds have come in the space of two years. He made it clear, too, how excited he is about what is possible in the future, while stressing progress will take time.

“You have to take a deep breath and think about how we are doing in general,” he said. “We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, and definitely a much better place than where we were two years ago.

“And when you think like that you realise that actually, on the whole, the club is making progress. We shouldn’t lose sight of that.

“We want to win every game we play and are going to be disappointed when that doesn’t happen. We shouldn’t lose sight of how much more we need to grow as a club to really be competitive at this level, and you can’t do that in just 12 months.


“But we are giving it a go and that is the exciting thing. We know we have a lot of growing to do as a club and team. That is why we are here. It’s been a challenge for the last two years, we are tackling it head on, but when it’s a club like this with the fantastic support and history, it makes it even more exciting. It has been an incredible couple of years so I want to work really hard to continue the process.”

This is their fifth consecutive campaign in the top-flight, having been promoted in 2019. Last week, Cooper referenced Brighton and Hove Albion as an example of what can be achieved with steady progress. Emery’s team are another case in point.


“They are a good example of a team which has slowly improved over the course of time,” Cooper said. “I’m sure they have had some ups and downs along the way, and at the moment they are doing really well.



“You can see their progress has been good. There is definitely a reference point there with Villa, that with a little bit of patience and a little bit of realism along the way you do get better over the course of time. It’s not a bad one to look at.

“We have got to be focused on ourselves. We are a few years behind them, in terms of status in the Premier League and feeling the benefits of just being in the league with the revenue it brings and how it allows you to build.

“But if we can sustain that for a few years, hopefully we can progress as well. Over the last couple of years, all we have done is improve and progress. We’re really committed to continuing that.”

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