Steve Cooper Nottingham

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Steve Cooper, Manager of Nottingham Forest applauds the fans watched by the television cameras during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Tottenham Hotspur at City Ground on December 15, 2023 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Steve Cooper Not Expected To Be Out Of The Premier League For Long

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By Gareth James

Steve Cooper could return quickly to Premier League management at Crystal Palace following his sacking by Nottingham Forest.

The only Wales-born boss at a Premier League club, Cooper was dismissed by Forest on Tuesday afternoon after a poor run of results.

But he could make a quick return at Palace where he has a number of admirers, and where owner Steve Parish is considering how long their veteran current manager Roy Hodgson should remain in charge.

Cooper’s work in taking Forest from the bottom reaches of the Championship to promotion to the Premier League caught the eye of Parish, while West Ham are also reported to view him as a possible replacement for their manager, David Moyes.

As the managerial merry-go-round speeds up, Forest are in talks to appoint former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo as Cooper’s replacement.

The 44-year-old former Swansea City head coach paid the price for a run of just one win in 13 Premier League games, which has seen Forest plummet to just five points above the drop zone.

Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis said: “Everyone at Nottingham Forest would like to thank Steve for his superb contribution to our football club. His achievement in guiding Forest back to the Premier League will undoubtedly remain an iconic moment in the club’s history.

“We thank Steve for his dedication and commitment during his time with us, as well as the incredible connection he forged with our supporters and the city of Nottingham.

“Steve will always remain a friend of the club and will forever be welcome at the City Ground. We wish him well in his future endeavours.

Forest say an announcement on their next manager will be made in “due course”, but it is understood that Nuno is the preferred candidate to take over at the City Ground and has met with club officials ahead of a possible appointment.

The Portuguese has been out of work since leaving Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad in November. He appears set for a return to the Premier League two years after his sacking from an ill-fated four-month stay at Spurs.

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

It was fan power that saved him from the sack last term, but, with another summer of heavy investment from owner Marinakis, the Greek businessman has lost patience.

Forest host Bournemouth in a crucial Premier League clash on Saturday before festive fixtures against Newcastle and Manchester United.

Marinakis was eyeing a top-half finish this season after spending north of £100million in the summer, but, after a solid start to the campaign, results have not followed and they have won just once since beating Chelsea at the start of September.

Cooper has kept his dignity intact following speculation surrounding his position and leaves the City Ground a hero after becoming the man to end Forest’s 23-year exile from the top flight when he guided them to promotion in the summer of 2022.

A difficult first year in the Premier League followed, where Cooper’s job was under continual threat before a late-season rally saw them finish 16th.

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