The former Swansea City manager Steve Cooper has been appointed as the new head coach of Nottingham Forest on a contract to June 2024. Cooper, the club’s first choice, took training on Tuesday before his arrival was confirmed.
Forest needed to agree compensation with Swansea because Cooper has been on gardening leave since leaving in July, and that matter was sorted quickly.
Forest targeted Cooper because of his record of working with and improving young players, having had successful spells as Liverpool’s academy director and with England age-group teams, winning the Under-17 World Cup. Forest believe he overachieved with Swansea, taking them to the Championship play-off final last season and losing in the semi-finals the previous year.
The 41-year-old replaces Chris Hughton who was dismissed last week after Forest’s defeat by Middlesbrough left them bottom with one point from seven matches. Forest picked up their first Championship win on Saturday when they beat Huddersfield 2-0 under the caretaker Steven Reid but remain in last place.
“Steve was our first choice as head coach and we are delighted to have secured his services,” said the Forest chief executive Dane Murphy. “His record of developing young talent is exceptional. Steve knows what is required to be successful in the Championship and has a proven track record with Swansea.
“We have reduced the age of our squad over the summer and Steve is the ideal coach to blend a team to start moving us up the table. On behalf of the owner and the board, we welcome Steve to the club and look forward to providing every support he needs to be a success at Nottingham Forest.”
Cooper is expected to bring on to his staff two familiar faces from his Swansea days: the coach Alan Tate and analyst Steve Rands. Cooper’s first game will be at home to Millwall on Saturday.
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