Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has shared what he said to Brennan Johnson during the half-time interval against Leicester City. The Reds beat their East Midlands counterparts 2-0 at the City Ground to claim the bragging rights.
Forest star Johnson has slowly but surely started to adapt to life in the Premier League. Prior to the World Cup, he came in for some criticism but just lately he’s been a lot more like his usual self.
On Saturday, he scored his first goals from open play in the Premier League since August. He’d not found the net since the away trip to Everton in the opening month of the season and his delight was there for all to see.
Despite a blistering second-half performance from Johnson, it appears Cooper wasn’t completely satisfied at half-time. He’s conceded that he was forced to act at the break.
He told Nottinghamshire Live: “He, and us working with him, have got to be so tough with him – in a good way – about taking forward steps all the time. I actually had a bit of a go at him at half-time, saying to do more.
“I’m not saying that’s why he scored, but we had a laugh about it afterwards in the dressing room. But that’s how it’s got to be.”
Cooper has shared what he said to Johnson and it worked a treat for Forest
The Reds’ head coach doesn’t come across as a shouter. That said, this serves to highlight that Cooper is going to do whatever it takes to ensure Forest climb the Premier League.
Johnson clearly benefitted too. There have been some below-par performances from the Wales international but he’s hardly been the only player guilty of that this season.
Cooper isn’t wrong to suggest that Johnson can do more. He’s a supremely exciting talent and Forest fans saw just how good he can be last season when he was in fine form.
The 21-year-old scored two brilliant goals against Leicester. The challenge for the youngster now is to gain some consistency and avoid the wrath of Cooper in the process.