Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Premier League • England

Marinakis labels Steve Cooper spell ‘iconic’ as Nott’m Forest confirm manager’s sacking; replacement already identified

Former Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper has been sacked by Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest have confirmed the sacking of head coach Steve Cooper, with club owner Evangelos Marinakis sending a heartfelt message to the Welshman.

Cooper’s job had come under pressure after Forest won just once in their last 13 Premier League games, which has seen them slide down the table into 17th spot. Cooper still has the love of the majority of Forest fans, thanks to the fantastic job he did in getting them promoted back to the top flight in the 2021-22 campaign. That ended the club’s long 22-year wait for Premier League football.

Marinakis is well aware of the strong support for Cooper, but he feels now is the best time to act in order to preserve Forest’s top-flight status.

Earlier on Tuesday, it emerged that Forest had told the 44-year-old they were planning to sack him. And that decision has now been confirmed in a club statement.

Marinakis reacted to the news by labelling their promotion-winning campaign under Cooper as ‘iconic’, and something he will always be remembered at the City Ground for.

“Everyone at Nottingham Forest would like to thank Steve for his superb contribution to our football club. His achievement in guiding Forest back to the Premier League will undoubtedly remain an iconic moment in the club’s history,” the Greek billionaire said.

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“We thank Steve for his dedication and commitment during his time with us, as well as the incredible connection he forged with our supporters and the city of Nottingham.

“Steve will always remain a friend of the club and will forever be welcome at the City Ground. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Nuno Espirito Santo in line to replace Steve Cooper

Prior to Cooper’s departure, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealed the man Forest are looking at as his replacement.

“Understand Nuno Espirito Santo is on his way to England right now — as he’s set to sign as new Nottingham Forest head coach,” Romano wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Agreement imminent, he will replace Steve Cooper if all goes to plan.”

Nuno enjoyed a great spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers between 2017 and 2021, guiding the Molineux outfit to the Championship title and then helping them secure back-to-back seventh-placed finishes.

After leaving Wolves by mutual consent, Nuno went on to join Tottenham Hotspur in June 2021. However, he could not replicate the success he had enjoyed at Wolves during his time in North London and was sacked in November, after just 17 games.

The Portuguese then took a big pay day by taking charge of Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad in July 2022. He helped Al Ittihad win both the Saudi Pro League title and the Saudi super cup, but results and performances soon declined and he was axed six months later.

Forest supporters will be hoping Nuno can have a similar impact on them as he did at Wolves, rather than having to endure a repeat of his underwhelming time at Tottenham.