Under-pressure Steve Cooper will hold crisis talks with Nottingham Forest before the weekend after Tuesday night’s defeat at Leeds United edged the club closer to the relegation zone.
Forest took the lead at Elland Road thanks to Orel Mangala’s 12th-minute strike, but their winless run extended to eight Premier League games after goals from Jack Harrison and Luis Sinisterra turned things around to earn Leeds three vital points.
The defeat was Forest’s 10th in their 14 Premier League away games and increases the mounting pressure on former Swansea and England Under-17 boss Cooper’s shoulders.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that Forest are considering a managerial change and imminent talks could result in 43-year-old Cooper leaving his post before Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa.
“I am not someone who thinks like that,” Cooper said when asked after the game about his Forest future. “I always think of the greater good of the football club.
“Any worry, frustration, disappointment I am feeling right now is that Forest have lost a game they could have done so much better in. That is how I am wired. I have trained myself to focus on what is controllable and work as hard as I can every day and believe in my work and stay true to it.
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“I have been answering questions about myself for a little while now. I respect the question, but I am not the person who thinks about it.
“All the joy of winning and the disappointment of losing is what is right for the football club and not myself.”
90min further understands that Cooper is of interest to both Crystal Palace and Leicester, who recently sacked Patrick Vieira and Brendan Rodgers in their bids to stave off relegation.
Roy Hodgson has taken interim charge of Palace until the end of the season, while Leicester currently have first team coaches Adam Sadler and Mike Stowell in caretaker charge after Graham Potter, who was dismissed by Chelsea on Sunday, decided against holding talks with the 2021 FA Cup winners.
Steve Cooper’s position as Nottingham Forest manager is looking increasingly precarious and his comments after the game suggest he’s anticipating a change to be made.
The Welshman has done a terrific job under very trying circumstances, with the unprecedented turnover of players at Forest unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, the club are neck deep in relegation trouble and they have offered very little away from home all season long.
Momentum is key when it gets to the back end of the season and Forest may be looking at this thinking they can no longer wait for things to improve while others around them pick up points. The only saving grace for Cooper may be the lack of long-term options available to owner Evangelos Marinakis, but the financial implications of relegation may force a change to be made.
If Cooper does leave, it’s unlikely he’ll need to wait long for a top level employment opportunity to come his way. Crystal Palace and Leicester are two clubs that may actually suit him better than Forest does, and his track record of developing players won’t have gone unnoticed.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey, Toby Cudworth & Tom Gott discuss Chelsea’s decision to sack Graham Potter, Man City and Real Madrid’s interest in Josko Gvardiol, the futures of William Saliba, Kai Havertz, Randal Kolo Muani & more!
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