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HomefootballNuno wants to build on Cooper's 'amazing legacy' at Nottingham Forest

Nuno wants to build on Cooper's 'amazing legacy' at Nottingham Forest

LONDON – Newly-appointed Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo said he wanted to build on the amazing “legacy” of Steve Cooper at the Premier League club.

The 49-year-old Portuguese coach has succeeded Cooper, sacked by Forest on Dec 19 after a dismal run of one win in 13 Premier League games left the club just one place, and five points, above the relegation zone.

Nuno has been out of work since leaving Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad in November.

But he has now returned to English football following a two-year absence since his departure after an ill-fated four-month spell at Tottenham Hotspur which featured a mere 10 Premier League games.

Cooper’s exit from the City Ground came with Forest having lost five of their past six games.

The 44-year-old Welshman led Forest to promotion to the Premier League in 2022, ending a 23-year absence from the top flight for a club twice crowned champions of Europe under celebrated manager Brian Clough in 1979 and 1980.

Cooper had retained the support of Forest fans after taking them from the bottom of the Championship to Premier League survival last season.

But with Cooper’s summer of heavy investment in new signings failing to deliver the required results, Forest’s Greek owner Evangelos Marinakis finally lost patience with the former Swansea boss before appointing Nuno on a two-and-a-half-year contract.

‘Fantastic work’

Nuno, speaking at a press conference on Dec 21, said Marinakis had not given him any specific targets.

“We didn’t mark ourselves to expectations. That’s a day-to-day process,” he said of his conversation with Marinakis.

“What he told me was that what Steve did here is huge. Getting Forest back in the Premier League is fantastic work. We are trying to improve his legacy, which is amazing.”

Nuno, whose first game as Forest boss will be at home to Bournemouth on Dec 23, also had four years in charge of Wolves, guiding the club to promotion from the Championship in his first season in charge.

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Wolves enjoyed consecutive seventh-place finishes in the Premier League and a run to the Europa League quarter-finals under Nuno’s leadership.

Nuno added he had no regrets over his time at Spurs, saying he had learnt lessons from both his time at the north London club and at Wolves.

“No, no regrets, it happened,” he said.

“It was a pleasure to be at Spurs. Things didn’t go well so we move forwards. But no regrets.

“We learn everything, ourselves everything, you learn everything every day. Different situations.

“What we did in Wolves is totally different to what happened at Tottenham. In Saudi Arabia it was a new experience for me, new learning process for me, new culture, so we are always learning.

“I think we have to prove ourselves every day, as players, as coaches, everybody, it is a constant pressure to prove.

“What I expect is to help, try to transmit my knowledge and work ethic.” AFP

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