Cooper hoping to use Norwich as inspiration in Forest rebuild

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper prior to kick-off of the Sky Bet Championship match at The Ci

Steve Cooper is hoping Norwich City can act as a template for what needs to change at Nottingham Forest. - Credit: PA

Steve Cooper is hoping to use Norwich City as the inspiration behind his revolution at Nottingham Forest. 

The Welsh boss replaced ex-City manager Chris Hughton at the City Ground last month and has lofty ambitions of helping Forest achieve success after years of stagnation in the Championship.

Cooper, who is a close friend of City sporting director Stuart Webber after they worked together at Wrexham and Liverpool, left Swansea City in the summer after achieving back to back finishes in the play-offs. 

His new project is designed to help reinvigorate Forest, who are craving success after 13 consecutive seasons in the Championship. 

The 41-year-old ex-England youth coach has described himself as feeling 'more motivated than ever' to bring the good times back to the club and is unbeaten in his opening three matches as manager. 

Daniel Farke and Webber changed the culture at Carrow Road, handing chances to young players, recruiting smartly and implementing a playing style that saw them win two Championship titles in three seasons at that level.

Players like Emi Buendia, Teemu Pukki and countless others were signed externally with the academy also a key driver of pushing talent through the first-team door. 

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Cooper believes Norwich's blueprint for success at that level is one Forest should look at replicating, as he explained to a fans forum event last week.

“I believe that a thriving Championship team has young players in it.

“As a rule of thumb, teams that have done well in the Championship and got promoted have had homegrown players in there that just run a little bit more with that youthful enthusiasm.

“Maybe Norwich are an example, with Cantwell and Max Aarons as well as Pukki and Buendia and all that sort of stuff.

“I want homegrown, young players in the squad," Cooper told the Forest fans forum.

“I know Gary Brazil through previous jobs, I know Warren Joyce who is Under-18s’ coach through previous jobs. I know who Andy Reid is from his playing career, mainly here, and we have struck up a good relationship.

“There is a genuine interest from me in youth and academy football.”

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