Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has made an interesting claim on the club’s request that they be allowed to register Steve Cook. The 31-year-old was omitted from the squad last month but Forest have amid an injury crisis.
It’s likely that this would be unprecedented. In fairness, having signed 30 players since winning promotion, it would be very easy for the Premier League to turn around and tell Forest to politely go away!
But, Cooper does have huge problems. Willy Boly will be missing for three months or longer and Scott McKenna will now be back within the next eight weeks.
The Reds have just two fully fit central defenders. Felipe and Joe Worrall came on for Boly and McKenna and Fulham but in reserve, they now have no recognised centre-back.
Cooper appears quite optimistic, despite the ridicule from rival fans on social media. The head coach seems to think that what Forest are keen to do is perfectly within the rules; provided they believe they have a special case.
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Furthermore, the Welshman has praised Cook. It would have been easy for the player to sulk around the training ground since being omitted but it appears that he’s stayed true to professionalism.
Cooper told The Athletic: “He has had a very productive 12 months for us, we’re all fond of him here. He has been good, been very professional and with it happening so quickly it’s felt pretty normal.
He’s been really positive, a lesser man maybe would have been a bit different.”
Cooper makes interesting claim about Cook request
It’s very interesting that the boss thinks this could be sanctioned. In the past, it’s typically only been allowed when a club doesn’t have an actual goalkeeper available.
Forest have endured rotten luck with injuries this season. In no other season have the Reds been decimated quite so emphatically and with the season at the business end it’s a real worry.
The comments on Cook staying professional are of no surprise. He was an inspired signing in January 2022, propelling the Reds from a mid-table outfit to one that eventually won promotion.
It’s still unlikely that Cook would be the first choice. What he would do, however, is offer the Reds an option from the bench should anything happen to Felipe of Worrall.