Nottingham Forest defeated Sheffield United on penalties and some footage has showcased a brilliant Steve Cooper moment that took place at half-time.
The Reds were leading 1-0 at the break and 3-1 on aggregate. Just before the break came a flashpoint when Paul Heckingbottom sparked a fracas after an incident involving Djed Spence.
As the Forest defender went to retrieve the ball from the United boss, he slammed the ball into the 21-year-old’s midriff with a brawl following.
That saw tempers flare ahead of the interval and Cooper was very keen for his players not to get involved.
Following the half-time whistle, the Forest head coach kept his players out on the pitch. He anticipated that Heckingbottom had ordered his players to get into Reds heads and wanted his players out of it.
It was a tactic from the dark ages that has served the United boss well this season. His players were jumping on the floor at free will throughout and largely came to frustrate a young Forest team.
Cooper isn’t a man for showing too much emotion, however. He wanted his players to keep their heads and not be enticed into any unsavoury antics.
Forest didn’t manage things particularly well in the second half. Credit to Sheffield United though, they did a job on Forest and were equally as excellent as the Reds were at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Cooper moment is just what Forest fans love about him
The Forest head coach has done amazing things at the football club. The team are now in a play-off final and seeing fist pumps at Wembley would mean Premier League football has been secured.
Still, there is work to do. Huddersfield will provide a stern test; arguably a tougher one than that of Sheffield United in the semi-final.
It’s little moments like this, however, that makes Cooper so special. His ability to adapt to in-game situations is admirable and he always knows what is best for his team.
Heckingbottom tried every trick in the book to rattle Forest. He flapped his gums pre-match and tried to make last night extremely difficult for the Reds players.
Whilst he prepares for his summer holiday, however, Forest can now look forward to a Wembley date later this month.