Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has made a surprising claim about Chris Wood. The striker stepped off the bench to score the winning goal in Friday’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United.

Wood has battled back from injury amid a backdrop of criticism from supporters. Since his arrival from Newcastle, he’s been given some extremely unfair criticism.

Forest Wood
Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images

The player scored his only other Forest goal against treble-winners Manchester City last season. Now, he’s got another for his tally and this one could prove a vital one.

Wood scored a wonderful cushioned header as Forest chased a win in the dying embers of the contest against Sheffield United. The joy was etched all over his face and ultimately, he silenced some of his critics.

After he’d scored the winning goal for Forest, Cooper was quizzed on the player who was signed from Newcastle for £15 million.

He told the Premier League: “I’m really pleased for Taiwo and for Woody because he’s come back from a long-term injury, shown great commitment.

“He’s a leader in the dressing room, part of the leadership group and we need to get behind these guys because they can make a real difference for us.”

Cooper makes surprise claim about Forest striker Wood

It’s not a surprise to see Wood score for Forest with the right level of service. You don’t score over 50 goals in the Premier League without knowing where the back of the net is.

What is surprising, however, is that Wood is part of the leadership group. Clearly, he’s a good character and perhaps some of his harshest critics will now get off his back a little bit.

Forest Wood
Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images

Wood clearly has something to offer Forest. When he is introduced the Reds have to keep things simple, overload the flanks and deliver balls into the box for him.

At 31-years-old, Wood is hardly in the prime of his career at Forest. However, if he’s given regular minutes this season there is absolutely no reason why he can’t score even more goals.

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