Steve Cooper signs new Nottingham Forest contract

Steve Cooper - Zac Goodwin/PA Wire
Steve Cooper - Zac Goodwin/PA Wire

Nottingham Forest have made the shock announcement that under-pressure manager Steve Cooper has signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until 2025.

Cooper had been under huge scrutiny with the club struggling on their return to the Premier League having spent £150m on 22 players over the summer.

The 42-year-old's position was in huge doubt after Monday's 4-0 defeat at Leicester, with Rafael Benítez emerging as the early favourite to replace Cooper if he did depart.

But after talks this week the club have decided to stick with Cooper, handing him a new deal that keeps him at the club until the end of the 2024/25 season.

It is understood the deal was broadly agreed at the start of the season, but there was a feeling the club would focus on the transfer window and the new campaign before agreeing to the deal. However, the decision to commit to a new contract still comes as a huge shock just days after Cooper appeared to be on the way out.

It is also understood that chief executive Dane Murphy will also be staying at the club following talks this week.

“It’s nice to have some clarity  to the situation and everyone knows how much I’ve loved my time here," said Cooper

“It’s a big, proud and very big football club which deserves success. We have an unbelievable opportunity to show how good we can be.

“I will give my all to try to succeed. Internally there has only been normal conversations and we were obviously disappointed about the result at Leicester.

“If I’m being honest my real focus is about winning a football match because we on a poor run of form.

“The contract is signed, but nothing really changes in terms of my work and making sure each and every day we make sure we’re ready for the next game.

“We’ve had incredible support from the supporters and that makes me hungry to do better.”

In a statement, Forest said: "Nottingham Forest is delighted to announce that Steve Cooper has signed a new contract with the Club.

"The Forest Head Coach has signed a new deal at The City Ground running until 2025.

"The 42-year-old took charge of The Reds last September and has since won 29 of his 54 matches at the helm.

"After finishing fourth in the Championship last season, he became the first manager since 1998 to lead The Reds into the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Wembley.

"It is now important that our focus is solely on football. As a group we are all concentrated and will do everything we can to help the team move up the league table and once again demonstrate our qualities that led us to the Premier League."

Forest face Aston Villa on Monday night with the club currently bottom of the table, having taken four points from their first eight games.