Nottingham Forest legend Garry Birtles has told Nottinghamshire Live that he loved something that Steve Cooper did on Saturday during the 2-2 draw against Stoke.

The Reds took the lead through Brennan Johnson before former Forest target Josh Maja restored parity shortly after.

In the 88th minute came the flashpoint. Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba punched a Stoke player with the ball in play and referee Leigh Doughty pointed to the spot.

Lewis Baker scored the penalty and with Joe Worrall in goal and the Reds down to 10 men it seemed as though the Potters would leave with the points.

Forest Samba
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

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This Forest team are made of stern stuff though. In the second minute of time added on, the Reds did find themselves an equaliser. Ryan Yates headed home from a couple of yards after a James Garner free-kick cracked the bar and Scott McKenna headed back across goal.

The sending off of Samba proved the obvious big moment for Forest. Something which happened in the aftermath of that incident saw Cooper do something that Birtles really liked.

He told Nottinghamshire Live: “That moment of madness, what can you say? The manager and his coaching staff didn’t even look at Samba as he walked past. I quite liked that.

Lesson: Time for Samba to grow up at Forest

Make no bones about it, this has been coming. For the last few weeks, Samba’s goalkeeping has been pretty steady but ultimately, his acts of gamesmanship have now caught up with him.

He stepped close to the line against Derby; whilst, against Leicester his rush of blood to the head cost the Reds a goal.

Nottingham Forest v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)
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Now, Samba will be forced to watch from the sidelines as his teammates try and maintain Forest’s push towards a play-off place.

Cooper has shown willingness to reward strong form and if Ethan Horvath grasps his chance, Samba could pay the ultimate price.

He has to cut out these moments of madness if he’s to become Cooper’s goalkeeper beyond the end of the current campaign.

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