Steve Cooper: Forest have ‘longed for’ tests like Liverpool in Premier League ‘for many years’

Date published: Thursday 20th October 2022 2:26 - News Desk

Steve Cooper before a match

Steve Cooper has emphasised how much playing against big hitters such as Liverpool means to Nottingham Forest after years of waiting to get back in the top flight.

Forest host Liverpool at the City Ground in a repeat of their first home fixture in the Premier League in 1992, when Teddy Sheringham’s goal gave them a 1-0 win.

It has been 23 long years since the Anfield club have visited in the league as Forest meandered in the second and third tier.

Boss Steve Cooper was the man to bring them back up last season and says Saturday lunchtime’s game is their reward.

“Liverpool is a huge test, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “Whenever and wherever you play them that doesn’t change. We are fully aware of that.

“Where we are at the moment in the league and with results, we have got to take it one game at a time and look at it in isolation.

“They are one of the biggest threats in the league. Amazing club, great manager, great players. I don’t pay any attention to if there is ever a good or bad time to play them.

“It’s a brilliant test. These are the games that the club has longed for, for so many years, we should remember that and if we can bear that in mind we will create a really good atmosphere, which is normal anyway, and that can help us on the day.”

Liverpool is a club Cooper knows well as he worked as a youth coach there for six years and is looking forward to coming up against Jurgen Klopp again, having gone toe-to-toe in last season’s FA Cup quarter-final.

“I have massive respect and admiration for him, I do for every manager, it’s a unique role, Jurgen is miles more experienced than me in terms of years in the job and games, then you look at his success,” he said.

“I know Liverpool fairly well because I spent time there as a younger coach, there are high demands.

“He has had great success so we are looking forward to coming up against one of his teams. In the end when it comes to the matchday we have to be more focused on ourselves.”

Harry Toffolo will miss the game with a hamstring injury picked up in the 0-0 draw with Brighton, while Lewis O’Brien is still battling an illness.

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