What will Steve Cooper’s first Nottingham Forest line up look like? Formation, tactics, players
Steve Cooper takes charge of his first Nottingham Forest fixture this weekend, when his side welcome Millwall in the Championship.
Nottingham Forest picked up their first win of the season in the wake of Chris Hughton’s departure. Steven Reid guided Forest to a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town in caretaker charge of the side before former Swansea City boss Cooper was installed.
Going into the weekend, Millwall head to the City Ground to kick-start Cooper’s tenure at Forest, but what will the Welshman’s first Nottingham Forest line up look like?
Defensive or extra defensive?
Cooper ran into a lot of criticism at Swansea City for his defensive style of play. Since returning to management with Forest as well, plenty of Swansea fans have forewarned Forest fans about the football they have in store.
For the most part of his first season in charge of the Welsh club, Cooper donned a 4-2-3-1 formation but last time round it was more of a 5-3-2 or 3-5-2 set up.
Full-backs and wing-backs are an integral part of Cooper’s philosophy and unfortunately for him at Forest, those departments aren’t the strongest.
He has Djed Spence at his disposal who looks a certainty to start on the right after coming in for the Huddersfield win, with another on loan name in Max Lowe starting on the left in place of the ever-contested Gaetan Bong last time out.
Reid did don a five-strong defence v Huddersfield but opted with the one lone striker in Lewis Grabban, though what Cooper might think of Grabban up top on his own remains to be seen.
Both he and Taylor are similar types of strikers and it may be a case of pushing someone like Brennan Johnson further up the pitch than what he’s been playing recently, to give Forest’s front line that bit more pace.
Alex Mighten could also be an asset coming off the bench for Forest in that capacity.
Elsewhere, the spine of the team arguably selects itself in Bruce Samba, the likes of Scott McKenna and Joe Worrall in defence, and Ryan Yates (who had a fine performance v Huddersfield) and James Garner in the middle of the park.
It’ll be interest for both Swansea and Forest fans alike to see how Cooper picks his first Nottingham Forest side when they welcome Millwall this weekend – a tough game to open his account with the club, but a win could drag them out of the bottom three and set the pace for the remainder of their campaign.