Steve Cooper admits Nottingham Forest gaining promotion to the Premier League will change his life after watching his side beat Huddersfield at Wembley.
Forest edged out the Terriers, winning 1-0 in north London thanks to Levi Colwill’s 43rd-minute own goal. Victory ends a remarkable season for the City Ground outfit. They sat rock bottom of the Championship table after seven games, prompting the board to sack manager Chris Hughton.
Cooper was hired and the rest is history. The East Midlanders went on a run of just one defeat in 16 games, rising to ninth by the turn of the year.
And they ended up fourth in the second-tier standings, two points behind Huddersfield. It always looked like being a tense play-off final and that is the way it turned out.
But it will be Nottingham Forest who ply their trade in the top flight next term, returning to the Premier League after a 23-year absence.
Cooper was understandably delighted and paid tribute to the club after picking up the trophy.
“I’m really pleased for the players and the supporters,” he told Sky Sports. “Everybody connected with the football club deserves this today and we’re now really looking forward to a positive future.”
Cooper relishing Premier League test
Cooper took Swansea City to the Championship play-off final in 2020-2021 but lost out to Brentford. He left the Swans in July last year before arriving at Forest two months later.
The Welshman has been linked with a few high-profile management jobs. But he will be able to prove his credentials in England’s top division with his present employers.
And the former England Ender-17 coach feels he will never be the same person after Sunday’s result.
“It’s relief and pride – this isn’t about me but it’s changed my life, potentially anyway,” he added. “We’ve brought Nottingham to Wembley today, we’ve taken over the place and here we are in the Premier League.”
Cooper will doubtless enjoy a rest after the stress of the post-season before plotting a way to stay in the Premier League.
Promoted teams are usually among the favourites to go straight back down. But he is clearly a talented manager and will have his ideas of how to compete with the big boys when the campaign begins in August.
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