Cooper admits Forest away form ‘needs to get better’ with two points gained from eight games

Cooper on Forest Credit: Alamy
Cooper on Forest Credit: Alamy

Nottingham Forest have a winnable away game against Southampton on Wednesday and Steve Cooper has urged his players to finally get a Premier League victory on the road this term.

Forest have picked up just two points on the road this season, scoring one goal in eight matches while they have lost 6-0 at Manchester City, 5-0 at Arsenal, 4-0 at Leicester and 3-0 at Manchester United.

But Wednesday’s trip to St Mary’s represents a real chance to get that first win given their hosts’ rotten run of form.

Cooper said: “There are going to be obvious questions about our away form and I quite welcome those questions because I really want us to face up to things that we need to improve on.

“It would be easy for me to swerve the questions and skirt around the edges and I am not going to do that, our away form needs to get better and needs to improve and we need to challenge ourselves to do that.

“We are just looking at the context for ourselves and how we can go down there and win and we are looking forward to doing that.

“The only way of improving something in a football team is playing games and the questions around away form, how do you improve your away form? Go and win games. That is what we are going to try and do.”

Forest’s draw with Chelsea at the weekend provided optimism in their quest to avoid Premier League relegation, though they remain in the bottom three.

They are only 18th on goal difference behind West Ham, though, and could move five points clear of Southampton with a win on the south coast.

Cooper is not looking at other teams’ league positions just yet.

“I still think it is too soon to be looking at everybody else. Where we are as a club and a team and everything we have been through it’s the right thing just to look at ourselves.

“We are not thinking too much, we want to improve the league table so I am not saying we are not thinking about it, but we are not thinking about the teams in and around us, we are thinking about improving our position and to do that we have to focus on ourselves.”

Forest have new signing Gustavo Scarpa available following the opening of the transfer window but Jesse Lingard has been ruled out for four weeks with a hamstring injury.

The club have also confirmed the cancellation of Loic Bade’s loan move from Rennes.

The centre-half was one of Forest’s 23 summer signings but did not play a game and returns to the French club ahead of a proposed move to Sevilla.

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