The Forest boss took to his pre-match press conference to reveal that Jack Colback is “struggling” with a back problem and as a result will not be available for the visit to the Molineux this weekend.
Cooper told the media:
“He is struggling with his back. It is a bit of a frustrating one for him really, because he can’t quite get up to where he wants to be physically.
“We’re having to be careful with his management programme at the moment. Hence, why he has not been too involved recently, and that is still continuing.”
The bad news just keeps coming for Cooper as he sets out to improve Nottingham Forest’s season in the Premier League, and Colback’s struggle to get up to match fitness will surely frustrate the manager.
The 32-year-old midfielder is one of the few remaining players that were part of the promotion success from the Championship last season and is one of the most experienced squad members not only in terms of his careers but also has the experience to execute Cooper’s football philosophy.
Over 38 Championship appearances last season, Colback scored three goals, delivered one assist and created two big chances, making 1.1 interceptions, 2.2 tackles and winning 4.8 duels per game from his position in the centre of the pitch.
The Garibaldi Reds boss is a huge admirer of the player, hailing Colback’s “leadership” in the team last season:
“Jack is a great team player. He has good experience. He has good leadership.
“He’s a really good footballer, regardless of where he is on the pitch – we see that in training when we do a variety of exercises that are not too positional.”
This season the Forest ace has only made three appearances in the Premier League which has clearly been detrimental to the work rate and experience in the centre of the pitch, but Cooper will now need to move forward without Colback and will be hoping that his new-look midfield set up can gel together to start inspiring result.
With that being said, the clash with Wolves is an important game for Nottingham Forest in their efforts to climb the table to safety as three points could help the Tricky Trees move out of the bottom three by the end of the weekend.