Troy Deeney has heaped praise on Nottingham Forest man Steve Cooper and said that the Reds are the one team that he wouldn’t want to be playing in the play-offs.

Deeney has endured a pretty rotten season with Birmingham. He’s spent a lot of time out injured and he’s not quite had the impact that Lee Bowyer might have hoped.

Forest beat Birmingham twice during 2021/22. They won 3-0 at St Andrew’s before beating the Blues 2-0 on Trentside towards the end of the current campaign.

Ownership issues have crept above the parapet at Birmingham. It promises to be a pretty uncertain summer and boss Bowyer might well leave.

Deeney praises Forest boss Cooper
(Photo; Nigel Roddis; Getty Images)

For Forest there have been no such issues and Steve Cooper’s men romped into the play-offs despite securing just one point from the first seven games of the campaign.

Now, the Reds face Sheffield United over two legs and Deeney thinks they’re the best team going into the play-offs which begin next Friday with Luton taking on Huddersfield.

Deeney told The Sun (Goals pullout; 07/05; page 9): “Nottingham Forest have been the best team in the Championship since Steve Cooper took over.

“They are the best-coached team and I’d go as far as saying Steve Cooper is the best manager in the entire EFL.

“I just have a feeling that Sheffield United are going up. Nottingham Forest are the ones that I’d least want to play but United have the know-how.”

Deeney heaps praise on Forest boss Steve Cooper and now he’ll earn his money

It’s always nice to hear nice things said about Forest, especially from someone like Deeney who has been there and done it in the Championship.

Of course, Deeney is right to heap praise on Cooper. Forest have won a staggering amount of points under his stewardship and for that they deserve praise.

Cooper has worked wonders ar Forest. After throwing away two points yesterday, however, the Reds must now park that and prepare for the play-offs.

The Reds boss will have some disheartened players in the dressing room. On Tuesday their automatic promotion hopes ended and despite taking the lead at Hull in stoppage time, they couldn’t hold on for the win.

Deeney praises Forest boss Cooper
(Photo; Jon Hobley; MI News; NurPhoto; Getty Images)

That means a fourth-place finish and a game against Sheffield United in the play-offs.

Cooper rested some players yesterday and that could pay dividends. Now, everything that has been done before is forgotten and Forest must focus on beating the Blades.

The Reds will hope that Deeney is wrong and that they can defeat Sheffield United and reach the play-off final at Wembley for the first time.

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