Nottingham Forest fans were left baffled last night as Steve Cooper watched his side struggle at Preston during a 0-0 draw.
The 41-year-old hasn’t done a deal wrong since he arrived at the City Ground in September. Last night, however, he did something that left fans baffled.
With Preston piling on the pressure during the stalemate, Cooper watched on from the sidelines but chose not to make any changes until the 81st minute.
At that point, he went like for like. Sam Surridge replaced Keinan Davis in the striker role but Forest needed more.
Cooper hasn’t been backward in coming forward with his substitutions. As a result, it’s perhaps bizarre that he chose not to make more last night.
The head coach has addressed his decision, having been quizzed by Nottinghamshire Live after the game.
He said: “I was definitely going to get Sam on at some stage.
“You’re thinking do we get Phil on or go to a back four, which we’ve done before.
“But, we couldn’t get any rhythm in the game. I just felt the lads were in the spirit of the game and we played with three midfield players.
“Sometimes it’s a decision not to make a change. Normally I do like to get subs on and make changes but my heart was telling me to stick. That’s what we went with.”
Baffling: Cooper decision did leave Forest open to defeat
Fans will forgive a mistake or two and of course, Cooper has done more good than bad at the City Ground since he arrived. Last night, however, there is a sense that he got one wrong.
Forest could have quite easily lost the clash against Preston as they gave up the big chances and the majority of the possession.
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Having Alex Mighten, Joe Lolley and Philip Zinckernagel all sat on the bench for the entire 90 minutes didn’t make a great deal of sense.
Supporters are right to be left somewhat baffled by Cooper’s call last night and the only way the point last night becomes a good one is if Bristol City are despatched on Saturday.