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Nuno Espirito Santo appointed as new Nottingham Forest head coach to replace Steve Cooper | Football News

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Nuno Espirito Santo is hoping to build on Steve Cooper’s “huge” legacy after succeeding him as Nottingham Forest head coach.

Cooper was sacked on Tuesday with Forest five points above the relegation zone after picking up just one win in 13 matches, but he leaves a fan favourite after restoring the club to the Premier League.

It was fan power that saved Cooper from the sack last season, even though he kept Forest up, but owner Evangelos Marinakis, the Greek businessman, lost patience after another underwhelming start to the campaign.

Asked if he had been set any targets by the owner, new Forest head coach Nuno, who signed a two-and-a-half-year deal, said: “We didn’t mark ourselves big expectations just on a day-to-day process.

“He told me what Steve Cooper did here was huge. Getting Forest back in the Premier League was huge and we are now trying to improve on that legacy.”

Across three transfer windows since Forest returned to the Premier League, the club has spent more than £280m on 44 new players.

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Nuno, who will take charge of Saturday’s match with Bournemouth, returns to English football following a two-year absence when he left Tottenham after an ill-fated four-month stay. He has been out of work since leaving Saudi Pro League club Al Ittihad in November.

The 49-year-old, who met his players and took training on Wednesday morning, will be expected to lead Forest away from danger in the second half of the campaign.

Nuno admits the size of the group is something he has never experienced in his coaching career, but says he has inherited a positive group from Cooper.

“In terms of numbers I have to be honest with you I have never managed a squad of 30 players,” he said.

“It’s a new chance for everybody. My door is open for everybody. I want everybody involved and committed.”

On potential new signings in January, he added: “The only ones that can and should improve things, is us that are here now.

“What I expect is the players that are here in the building will solve the situation. It is who is inside the building that is important.”

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Highlights from Nottingham Forest’s match against Tottenham in the Premier League

Nuno will be hoping to recapture the magic that saw him become one of the hottest properties in the Premier League when he guided Wolves to back-to-back seventh-placed finishes after winning promotion from the Championship.

He also took the club to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and was chosen by Spurs as the man to replace Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2021.

However, he lasted just 10 Premier League games before being sacked and was heavily criticised for his pragmatic style of play.

Nuno was linked with a return to Wolves just over a year ago, but Wolves chose Julen Lopetegui.

Nuno

What will Nuno bring to Forest?

Sky Sports News senior reporter Rob Dorsett:

“My understanding is that the football bosses at Nottingham Forest accept there were mitigating circumstances around Nuno’s appointment at Tottenham, that he didn’t have a great relationship with Daniel Levy and took over in difficult circumstances.

“I think there will be some people on the outside who will look at a potential relationship between Nuno and Evangelos Marinakis and say that could be a recipe a disaster – they are two very strong men with strong opinions on both sides.

“But crucially, part of the reason Nuno appeals to Forest is because of his success at Wolves and the fact he was a head coach at Molineux – that’s what Marinakis and the people at Forest would like. Nuno accepted at Wolves that other people might be buying the players, with his involvement of course but not the final say, and his job was to bond them together and form a tactic that worked.

“And that’s a similar structure to the one they’ve got at Nottingham Forest, so that’s a big reason why he appeals. He’s available having left that job in Saudi Arabia and Marinakis is impressed by the man that he is and the manager he’s proved to be in the past. He’s looked past what happened at Tottenham.”

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Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett provides an update on the managerial position at Nottingham Forest after Steve Cooper’s sacking

Nottingham Forest’s next five games

December 23: Bournemouth (H), Premier League, kick-off 3pm

December 26: Newcastle (A), Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm

December 30: Manchester United (H), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 5.30pm

January 7: Blackpool or Forest Green (H), FA Cup third round, kick-off 2pm

January 20: Brentford (A), Premier League, live on Sky Sports, kick-off 5.30pm

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