Chris Hughton has lauded Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper for the work he’s done at the City Ground. The man who lost his job at the expense of the Welshman has now taken time out to hail the work he’s done on Trentside.
Cooper replacing Hughton seemed a bit of a left-field move by Forest. It saw an end to the experiment of going with a manager, with the man who took Swansea to the Play-Off Final very much a head coach. Now, the manager who he replaced has been speaking with FourFourTwo (May 2023; page 93).
Hughton had to be sacked though. Forest were bottom of the table with a single point from nine games and something, or someone clearly had to give.
The 64-year-old left the City Ground with a win ratio of just 26%; the lowest of any manager that Forest have had in the last decade and it’s definitely a blemish on his CV.
But, Hughton isn’t one for holding grudges. Now, he’s spoken about his time at the City Ground and it’s clear that he’s a huge fan of the work that Cooper has done at the club.
He told FourFourTwo (May 2023; page 93): “It was a really challenging spell. In my first season there, I thought we were competitive, but that summer we lost 11 players and another 4 weren’t in my plans. The second new signing came in the day before the first league match and we didn’t have the rhythm I was looking for. It wasn’t a great time for me, but I must say this: not too many managers could have come in and done the marvellous job that Steve Cooper has done at the City Ground.”
Hughton has lauded Cooper for his work at Forest
For context, Cooper has transformed the club despite coming in last season with Forest staring at a return to League One for the first time in many years. A remarkable run of form saw the Reds reach the play-offs and then win them to win promotion.
The Reds will forever be grateful to Cooper. He clearly values working for the club every single day and he doesn’t ever take the job for granted.
There were times under Hughton’s tenure when he annoyed the fans. His stubborn approach was often met with an attitude in press conferences that suggested he thought he was doing the club a favour by merely being in charge of the team.
There is none of that with Cooper. As a result, there really couldn’t be any more chalk and cheese between him and Hughton.