Steve Cooper: Nottingham Forest boss focused on ‘greater good of club rather than own future

Under-pressure Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper says he is focused on “the greater good of the club” rather than his own future after Tuesday’s damaging loss at Leeds.

Forest’s winless run stretched to eight games after they let slip an early lead to lose 2-1 at Elland Road.

They sit 17th in the table and above the bottom three on goal difference.

“I am not someone who thinks like that,” said Cooper when asked about his future after the game.

Two managers – Graham Potter at Chelsea and Brendan Rodgers at Leicester – lost their jobs on Sunday, with some reports suggesting Cooper would be next if his side were beaten by relegation rivals Leeds.

“I always think of the greater good of the football club,” said the 43-year-old Cooper.

“Any worry, frustration, disappointment I am feeling right now is that Forest have lost a game they could have done so much better in. That is how I am wired. I have trained myself to focus on what is controllable and work as hard as I can every day and believe in my work and stay true to it.

“I have been answering questions about myself for a little while now. I respect the question, but I am not the person who thinks about it.

“All the joy of winning and the disappointment of losing is what is right for the football club and not myself.”

Cooper said he had not had any contact with Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis or the board in the aftermath of Tuesday’s loss.

The former Swansea City and England Under-17 boss has largely retained the backing of the Forest fans, having led them to promotion last May.

“I will always be grateful to the supporters,” he added. “That is why winning is so joyous and losing is so disappointing, because they have been so good for me. When we let them down, as we did tonight, it is painful.

“I always feel grateful to the support and certainly don’t feel entitled by it. If anything, the more support I get, the more determined and paranoid I get about letting them down. That is why tonight I feel like I do.”

Forest had the perfect start at Elland Road, with Belgian midfielder Orel Mangala giving them a 12th-minute lead courtesy of a neat finish at the end of a slick counter-attack.

But goals from Jack Harrison and Luis Sinisterra swung the game in favour of the home side – who moved up to 13th place – and Cooper’s team were unable to respond.

Forest now have nine games in which to earn the points to keep them in the division, with the club one of nine teams separated by just seven points in the bottom half of the table.

“I really believe in myself and I really believe in my work and the level I can work at,” added Cooper.

“I have trained myself to only focus on giving my best every day and staying true to my work. I don’t think around it. If I did I wouldn’t be doing the things I believe in doing.

“I really believe in the players, what we do and the club.

“It is frustrating now as there was a chance to go 13th in the league and build a bit of a gap. But there is us and so many other teams that have it in their hands.”

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