Nottingham Forest will be disappointed after throwing away a 2-0 lead at The City Ground on Saturday afternoon, and Steve Cooper will need to quickly find solutions to start picking up vital points in the Premier League.
The Tricky Trees have now fallen into the relegation zone in the league table after suffering their third consecutive league defeat and, if they hope to retain their top-flight status this season, the Welsh manager must quickly establish his best team from his enormous squad going forward.
Cooper took to his post-match interview to detail the next steps after the humiliating 3-2 defeat against Bournemouth that was met with boos from the home supporters when the full-time whistle was blown, stating (via Nottinghamshire Live):
“We were always going to have time on the training ground, regardless of how this one went. We’ll stick to that work and the schedule, and try to get the best out of it.
“We’ve got nine days without a game now. We’ve got to use the time wisely and aim to do better than what we did in the second half, for sure.”
Something Forest appear desperate for is a defined starting XI, in order for their plethora of new talent to begin establishing connections in their positions, and building a deadly attacking trio will certainly put the newly-promoted side in a better position to compete in the top flight.
As a result, unleashing their £20m sensation Emmanuel Dennis as the first choice centre-forward would seem essential going forward, with the striker appearing to be the perfect candidate to line up alongside Brennan Johnson and Morgan Gibbs-White – who can assist the goal machine in their pursuit to pick up more points in the Premier League.
Dennis made the move to Nottingham this summer following the relegation of his former club Watford and was a major coup for the Reds as Everton and West Ham United were also reportedly keen to snap up the striker.
The Nigerian forward – who was hailed “very talented” by Claudio Ranieri – scored 10 goals, delivered six assists and created seven big chances over 33 appearances in the Premier League last season, as well as making an average of one key pass and taking 1.8 shots per game – and Cooper should be utilising not only his hunger for goals but also his Premier League experience.
Since the player joined Forest he has only been afforded 21 minutes per game over his three outings, which is clearly not enough for the striker to find his feet and make an impact on the team – so the manager simply must be more generous with his game-time in order to see a positive impact.
Forest now have eight days without a fixture, and Cooper must develop a much better way to set his side up when they return to action against Leeds United at Elland Road a week Monday – with Dennis appearing a must from the off.