In light of Nottingham Forest’s promotion to the Premier League, manager Steve Cooper has confessed that the team needs to keep building on their success and take inspiration from their past. The Reds beat Huddersfield Town in the Championship playoff final on Sunday to earn promotion.
After no wins in their opening seven Championship games, few gave Nottingham Forest a chance in hell of making a promotion spot but then Chris Hughton got sacked. The former Brighton boss was replaced by Steve Cooper a game later and the former Swansea boss has turned things around. The Reds proceeded to lose just once in their next fifteen games and lost only six games in total under Cooper. They had improved so much that Forest were in contention for the final automatic promotion place but a loss to Bournemouth changed that.
However, they did make the cut for the playoffs and after beating Sheffield United in the semi-finals, Cooper’s side beat Huddersfield in the final for a place in the Premier League. It marks their return to the top tier for the first time since 1999 and Steve Cooper admitted that he is “really pleased for the players and the supporters”. The Forest boss also added that the team needs to keep improving and build on the result with the help of “positive eras from the past”.
"I'm really pleased for the players and the supporters. I think we played well in the first half. And of all the good goals we've scored this season, we get one like that - but it doesn't matter. And we managed to see it through. Everyone connected to this football club deserves this today. We're looking forward to a positive future,” Cooper said, reported Sky Sports.
"It's relief of course but it's pride. I love being at this football club. It's changed my life. My family are here, the players' families are here - this football club is about belonging to a city. It comes together on matchday. We've taken over Wembley today and are in the Premier League.
"This football club is built on positive eras from the past and we want to build on that. We are proud of that but at the same time we need to think 'what if?' Can we get the Premier League? Can we play attractive football? What if we can develop young players? And that's what we've done showing an attitude and a commitment to not get beat. We deserve this.
"It's a glamorous world being a footballer and a manager but it's also a harsh and spiteful one. And I just wanted the players to know I will be their biggest supporter and give them everything through thick and thin. It doesn't mean I'm soft with them or don't demand of them but everybody loves to be loved. That's what we've tried to do with the players,” he added.