Nottingham Forest face Fulham tonight and it could be the perfect time for Steve Cooper to recall Steve Cook to the starting eleven.

The 31-year-old has been out of the team since suffering an ankle injury during a 4-0 win over Reading last month.

Cook missed five matches in the Championship and also the FA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool with the troublesome injury.

He returned to the bench for the 4-0 win over West Brom on Easter Monday and his experience could be vital during the run-in.

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

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Tonight will see Forest lock horns with the best team in the division by a country mile and a win for the Cottagers will see them crowned champions.

In Cook’s absence, Tobias Figueiredo has been outstanding and dropping him might seem incredibly harsh on the centre-back.

The Reds have conceded fewer goals than any other Championship team since the turn of the year and now have a defence to be proud of.

It would be harsh on Figueiredo but the time now looks right to unleash Cook back on the first team.

Forest still have an outside sniff of the automatic promotion race and having the ex-Bournemouth man back could be perfect for the Reds.

Cook experience could help Forest over the line

At this stage of the season, it’s imperative that Cooper has players who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt.

Cook fits that criteria to the ground and he also has 168 appearances to his name in the Premier League.

Some of the Forest squad will still be holding scars from their capitulation during the 2019/20 campaign when they lost out on a top-six place in a truly humiliating fashion.

Nottingham Forest v Reading - Sky Bet Championship
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)
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Cook was signed on a free transfer during January. He’s made 14 appearances for the club and Forest have lost just once when he’s played.

The fact he’s won promotion during his career could help Forest immensely. With that in mind, Cooper must make the bold call to recall him at Fulham tonight.

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