The Tricky Trees are currently rock bottom in the Premier League table and a great performance in the League Cup was exactly what the team needed for a huge confidence boost going into their last game this weekend before they break for the World Cup.
Despite only having 41% possession, Forest had more shots on goal (14 v 9), more shots on target (8 v 2) and more big chances (2 v 1) which ultimately led to their 2-0 victory at The City Ground last night.
The first half was largely uneventful, but Cooper would’ve been pleased with his team’s resilience to stay in the game over the first 45 minutes and when the second half commenced, Forest finally came to life, delivering Antonio Conte a nightmare.
Jesse Lingard took full control of the attacking threat in the team which would have delighted the home supporters following a string of uninspiring performances from the former Manchester United star.
The 29-year-old’s hard work finally paid off when he registered an assist for Renan Lodi’s 50th-minute opening goal and then followed up with a goal of his very own to double the lead just seven minutes later. It was strike that ultimately killed the game, sending Spurs packing back to north London with nothing to show from their visit.
Indeed, Lingard finally proved his worth to his manager and the Nottingham Forest supporters, however, there was another player who lit up The City Ground with a solid performance that ensured Conte’s side had no hopes of converting any of their chances last night.
Willy Boly put on a phenomenal defensive display by winning 100% of his ground and aerial duels throughout the contest. He made one key pass too, but it was the solidity further back that was most impressive with five clearances and three tackles over his 90-minute performance.
They are numbers that showed to his manager that he deserves a more consistent spot in the Forest backline.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers centre-back had only made one Premier League appearance with just 63 minutes tallied up before going into the clash with Spurs on Wednesday, so Cooper will surely be thrilled that his player was outstanding in the challenging fixture.
With that being said, the manager must now unleash Boly in the team more often and could even give him another opportunity to impress when Forest host Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.