Steve Cooper instils key demand into Nottingham Forest players after defeat; makes Gibbs-White transfer clarification

Steve Cooper during a Nottingham Forest game

Steve Cooper has told Nottingham Forest they must never be happy if they haven’t won, despite acknowledging several positives from their performance against Tottenham Hotspur.

Nottingham Forest fell to a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the City Ground on Sunday. Harry Kane was responsible for both goals, although Dean Henderson saved a penalty from him to prevent any further damage.

Still, Nottingham Forest only have the one win from their opening four Premier League matches since their top-flight return.

With a vast array of new signings, there are hopes that they can consolidate themselves in the first tier again. However, there is a lot of work ahead for Cooper’s squad.

Aware they will have to fight for their status, Cooper has said they need to turn positive performances into results or they cannot be satisfied.

He told BBC Sport: “We didn’t get anything from it [the performance]. The overriding feeling is never wanting to be happy if we’re not winning. That’s the mentality I want from the players.

“That’s how we want to play. We did a lot of good things in the performance today. Our build-up play was excellent. What we didn’t do was the hardest bit and threaten the goal enough.

“We had enough opportunities to do that, we had some chances we should have done better with. We should be getting efforts on goal.

“For all the positive things people will say we do those things to try to score goals and we didn’t do that today.”

Steve Cooper glad about Gibbs-White impact

The match gave recent signing Morgan Gibbs-White the chance to make his home debut. He signed for a big transfer fee, although Cooper has clarified the situation while praising his performance.

Cooper said: “It’s not groundbreaking fees. A lot of players have come for more than he has. A lot of the numbers reported aren’t true.

“I thought he was excellent. A really good impact.”

Gibbs-White is one of several players to have signed for Forest this summer. On paper, they have built a good team, but it will take time for them to gel.

Asked if that will lead to improvements, Cooper replied: “We hope. The idea is to keep progressing and building. If we get it right, we could be a good team. That’s what we want.

“We’ll stick to that plan. We play Manchester City next and they’ve had an extra day to prepare. Thank you Premier League for that.”

Next through the door could be Renan Lodi, the Atletico Madrid left-back who was in attendance for the loss to Tottenham.

On that particular pursuit, Cooper responded: “I’ll find out now. I’m going to speak to the owners. He’s a good player.”

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