Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has said that he won’t think any less of Brice Samba following his sending off against Stoke at the weekend.

The Reds goalkeeper was given his marching orders for punching an opponent in the penalty area and giving Lewis Baker the chance to score from the spot.

Forest did salvage a point through Ryan Yates but ultimately Samba’s foolish error could have cost the Reds dearly in their push towards a top-six finish.

Nottingham Forest v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

Cooper has dropped a hint, however, that he will win his place back in the team once his three-match ban is over.

WEIRDEST European January 2022 Transfers

He told The Athletic: “Everyone makes mistakes and Brice is old enough to know that he has made a mistake. We need to take stock and have a conversation with him.

“I’m not going to think anything less of him, that’s for sure. You have to help people when they make mistakes, rather than go the other way.

“Brice has contributed more positives than negatives. He played well, actually. He made some good saves but he’s had one silly moment that could have been more costly than it was.”

One error won’t define Samba but he owes Forest fans

It’s good to hear Cooper throw some public backing behind his goalkeeper. He will know he’s made a sizeable error and he won’t want to dwell on it too long.

The Forest custodian has largely been brilliant since Cooper arrived. He has grown as a goalkeeper and seemed to be enjoying his football.

Nottingham Forest v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

The Reds head coach does seem a master at knowing when to defend his players and he’s wise to discuss Samba in this light.

Ethan Horvath will play in goal for the next three games and now he has a real chance to prove himself to the Reds fan base.

These comments do suggest that Samba won’t be losing his place on a permanent basis any time soon, however.

Have something to tell us about this article?