Nottingham Forest head coach has heaped praise on Ryan Yates after his performance as a makeshift central defender yesterday.
The Reds ran out 4-1 winners at the Swansea.com Stadium and in honesty, the winning margin could have been more significant.
Philip Zinckernagel, Lewis Grabban, Brennan Johnson and Cafu scored, with Joel Piroe scoring a consolation goal for the Swans.
When the team sheet emerged it was perhaps a surprise to see Yates line up as a central defender.
It’s not a position he has played in for Forest before but in truth, he didn’t disappoint and did an admirable job.
Yates has copped some flak during his time in the Reds first team but under Cooper, he is growing with each performance.
Cooper was delighted with his latest display and raved about the 24-year-old after the game.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “Everyone who watches him every week knows he’s committed to the cause.
“He was excited about playing there, he bought into it and he’d do anything for this football club. Honestly, he would. Today he showed that.”
Yates proving integral to Forest under Cooper
It’s quite remarkable to see the difference in performances from when Chris Hughton was at the club to now.
You only have to look at Yates to get a clear indication of what proper coaching can do for a player’s confidence.
Under the former manager, Yates was safe, often went backwards with his passing and frequently saw the game pass him by.
Now, Cooper has got a real tune out of the youngster.
He is forward-thinking, gets his head up early and as he proved yesterday, could be a useful option at centre-back.
Yates has proved all of his critics wrong. The challenge for him now is to maintain this level of consistency over a prolonged period.
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