Nottingham Forest targeting 'high-profile manager' as Steve Cooper replacement

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper

Nottingham Forest are ‘on the lookout for a high-profile manager’ as they continue to assess Steve Cooper’s position, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 42-year-old’s position at the City Ground is believed to be under threat after they dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table following a fifth consecutive defeat on Monday night.

What is the latest news involving Cooper?

Cooper took charge at Forest back in September 2021, guiding them back to the Premier League via the play-offs after a 23-year absence.

Over the summer, the Midlands outfit undertook a radical overhaul of their first-team squad, bringing in an eye-watering 23 players while watching 16 move in the opposite direction.

Despite that, Forest started the season well, picking up four points from their opening three top-flight fixtures to provide hope that they would be able to hold their own at this level.

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Yet that early optimism has been deflated in recent weeks due to Cooper’s charges leaking 18 goals in their subsequent five league outings, scoring just four goals in reply and picking up no points.

Fabrizio Romano has reported that Cooper has ‘one more opportunity’ to transform Forest’s fortunes amid growing speculation that he could be relieved of his duties imminently.

What has Jones said about Forest?

Jones believes that Cooper is ‘under threat’ at this moment in time and that if Forest do decide to replace him, then they will appoint someone with ‘Premier League experience’.

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In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “Cooper is obviously under threat, and we have to expect Forest to show big ambition in replacing him.

“After spending as much as they have on a squad, they are on the lookout for a high-profile manager that can merge the talent. Preferably they would choose someone with Premier League experience.”

Who could replace Cooper at Forest?

The Telegraph have disclosed that former Liverpool, Newcastle United and Everton boss Rafael Benitez is set to come under consideration should Cooper depart Forest.

Benitez is said to be considered a high-profile candidate by the club’s hierarchy, and his vast experience in the English top-flight would certainly work in his favour.

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We’ll start easy…

His last stint at Goodison Park didn’t go to plan, though, and he was dismissed after just 22 games at the helm with his side lingering just above the relegation zone.

Sacking Cooper would be seen as a very harsh decision by many given the circumstances, and he will surely be hoping he gets more time to transform his side’s fortunes over the coming weeks.

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