Nottingham Forest made their return to Premier League football yesterday in a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United, but there was one player who was noticeably missing in the team and manager Steve Cooper has now given an update.
Forest centre-back Steve Cook was missing from the matchday squad yesterday, and Cooper was quick to address the player’s absence in the post-match interview at St James’ Park.
Cooper told the reporters:
“Cook has picked up a bit of an injury, he picked something up in the preparation. It’s still settling down, but hopefully he’ll be back in a few days’ time.”
There is no doubt that Cooper will surely be gutted that Cook was unavailable through injury, as the defender has always been a reliable and consistent force in the Forest backline, and offers unrivalled Premier League experience in the team.
The 31-year-old has made 168 top-flight appearances over his career so far, and having him in the team against Newcastle yesterday could have put Forest in a much better position to fight off the Magpies’ advances on their goal. His experience would have been vital as they crumbled to a disappointing 2-0 defeat on the opening weekend of the season.
Last term, Cook played an important role in Nottingham Forest’s promotion success after joining in the January transfer window, showing his leadership skills and defensive dominance in the Championship.
Over 17 appearances, the defender made 1.6 interceptions and produced 4.5 clearances clear game, while winning the majority of his duels (64%), demonstrating solid defensive attributes.
The Forest boss is a huge admirer of his player and lavished praise on Cook hailing him “fantastic” after the Englishman secured his move to The City Ground:
“We feel this is an important signing as Steve is a fantastic player and brings a good level of experience, both in the Championship and the level above.
“He’s played in a team that has won a lot of games and I think that’s important.”
With that being said, Cooper will surely be hopeful that Cook can return to fitness and join the team in their first Premier League game at The City Ground next weekend against West Ham United, as the absence of his reliable impact and experience in defence was a big blow on Saturday.