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Steve Cooper: ‘Nottingham Forest players lacked tactical nous in Leicester City defeat’

Steve Cooper: ‘Nottingham Forest players lacked tactical nous in Leicester City defeat’

Head coach Steve Cooper has blamed a lack of tactical nous as the reason for Nottingham Forest‘s 4-0 defeat at the hands of East Midlands rivals Leicester City on Monday evening.

Having collected four points from their opening three fixtures back in the top flight, Forest appeared on an upward trajectory after promotion from the Championship.

However, their capitulation at the King Power Stadium represented their fifth defeat in succession, with 18 goals being conceded in the process.

Forest shipped three times in 10 first-half minutes, each of those efforts coming from outside of the area after Taiwo Awoniyi had struck the post for the visitors.

James Maddison netted twice, the second being a free kick from 25 yards, while Harvey Barnes and Patson Daka also got on the scoresheet.

While Cooper was critical of his side’s performance during the first half, the Welshman feels that Forest can only improve as the season progresses after the mass arrival of new players during the summer transfer window.

Leicester City's James Maddison scores against Nottingham Forest on October 3, 2022© Reuters

Speaking to BBC Sport, Cooper said: “It is another disappointing result, there’s no doubt. We weren’t good enough tactically in the first half. We came with a plan and we were nowhere near good enough in the duels which was disappointing.

“We should have gone 1-0 up, we had the chance of the game up until that point. But we are not getting good results at critical moments and again we had a spell that took the game away from us.

“Without sounding too soft it is really difficult to be too critical of the group because it is a completely new group and we are finding out about ourselves, the job.

“The players never gave up. I’m not questioning their effort or work rate. There were times where I felt we could have been more competitive but I’m not looking at these lads and thinking they don’t care. They are just a really fresh group trying to come together.”

Now sitting bottom of the table, Cooper is likely to come under further pressure to retain his job at the City Ground ahead of two more important matches.

Forest play host to Aston Villa, currently in 14th position, in their next outing before they square off against fellow strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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