Key quotes from Steve Cooper’s post-Coventry City press conference

Nottingham Forest the head coach Steve Cooper stressed the importance of keeping your feet on the ground after the Reds climbed into the Championship play-off places with a 2-0 win over City of Coventry to City land.

Brennan Johnson scored his 14th goal of the season in the first half before James Garner sealed the win late in the second period.

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Forest’s fourth straight win puts them fifth in the table, with the Reds hoping they can use their two ongoing games to solidly cement their place in the top six.

And Cooper explained that his team just had to take it one game at a time.

“What is important at this stage of the season is that we are not too caught up in the results” said Cooper.

“Of course we want to win, and that’s the most important thing, but we have to focus even more on how we play because, in the end, that’s how we’ll win games, so we can’t not think too much about league position before games.

“We just have to think about being ready for the next game and going into it with hopefully the right plan to go and deliver it.

“We have eight games left and where you end up after 46 [games] is the most important so I’m really happy that we won tonight and I knew it was going to be a tough game and it was but in my head we have birmingham Saturday who had a week off and won a great victory against West Brom Last week.

“We have two days before we start and we have to be 100% ready.

“It’s easy because the players know that the most important thing is to get back on the training ground and follow their recovery or training according to their individual status and do their best – all eyes will be on obtaining more positive results.”

A difficult but comfortable victory

Forest were sloppy in possession at times, but they were relentless in pressing the ball and winning it back as quickly as possible.

Cooper thinks it was a tough deal for his team.

“It was a very important win and it’s the main title,” he added. “It was a tough game tactically with the way they set up and that midfield box really tests you positionally and we were aware of that.

“We are a rival but I have a lot of respect for the way they play, and I know they have stuck to it in recent years as well with Mark [Robbins] and Adi [Viveash].

“We had to be in the right position, which we were, but we turned the ball around too much in the first half and we didn’t pass enough and tended to take too many touches and because of that, we didn’t have the fluidity in the game because when we did that we put ourselves in good positions.

“The goals were excellent with Keinan [Daivs] play in Jack [Colback] and Jack flashes it for Brennan and he does it really well and in a kind of manic moment he shows great composure.

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“I think we did it quite better in the second half, and we created enough chances to score the second goal, and then we saw it.

“It was a tough game which was quite comfortable, and I thought we could have handled the last six or seven minutes better because I thought we made some rash decisions, but I’m always going to want more.

“But it was an important win with some very good elements, but some elements that we also need to address.”

Cooper satisfied with defensive application

Overall it was a solid display from the back three, which limited the Sky blues‘attacks.

after losing Steve Cook to injury, Tobias Figueiredo entered the baseline pit, making five clearances and two blocks.

Brice Samba also contributed to the clean sheet and made some good saves after being picked ahead Ethan Horvath again.

Cooper praised Figueiredo’s defensive performance and attitude, while explaining why he retained his number one.

He added: “I would say that although they got into good positions, the saves Brice had to make were comfortable and in the end our three backs, with the support of midfielders and wingers, did very well with defensive part of the game, but maybe we let them in too much.

“I thought the back three were great on the ball and really good. With a clean sheet and two home goals; there are a lot of positives, but I’m always going to want more.

“Toby is an excellent professional; no one is happy not being on the team but how you react to that is the part that can test people and if there is a way to respond to not being on the team then Toby did it.

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“He comes on days off, works hard and is one of the last out of the building every day and when he’s ready to be called he’s been ready to play and play fair with him.

“Tobias was excellent, and he hadn’t done anything wrong before, we just made the switch, and you stay with the team, and it’s similar to the goalkeeper situation.

“[Samba’s inclusion was] just on momentum really. I thought he played well on weekends and had good fluidity against Blackpooland it was a great result and we just had to keep going with that.

On the offensive qualities of Colback

Colback was superb on the left side as he helped create the opening goal by securing the end of Davis’ pass before slotting the ball through the back post for Johnson to exploit.

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When asked if he gave the winger more attacking freedom, Cooper replied: “No, not really; everyone has the right to really move forward with the way we play, it’s just about making the right decisions.

“Jack is a very good footballer, he loves playing in midfield and he does a great job as a left-back.

“Jack is experienced and really has the know-how to work the game and that’s what we like about him and it also adds value to the young guys with that information, so I’m happy with Jack again.”

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