Steve Cooper warns Arsenal that Nottingham Forest have ‘improved significantly’ since their 5-0 defeat at Emirates Stadium in October – as his side aim to secure survival by ending the Gunners’ title dream
- Steve Cooper says Nottingham Forest have improved since losing 5-0 to Arsenal
- Forest can ensure safety if they beat Arsenal and other results go their way
- Cooper has managed to guide his side to seven points from their last four games
Steve Cooper has warned Arsenal to expect a stronger Nottingham Forest side from the one thrashed 5-0 earlier in the season as he looks to lead his side to safety.
Forest could secure their Premier League status this weekend with victory at the City Ground on Saturday if they beat Mikel Arteta’s side and both Everton and Leeds fail to defeat Wolves and West Ham respectively.
After looking destined for relegation at one stage, Forest boss Cooper has found an effective formula that has allowed his team to take seven points from their last four games, including wins over Brighton and Southampton in their last two home games.
Arsenal’s title challenge has faded fast and if they lose here, Manchester City would be champions.
‘I think we’ve come on a bit since last October when we lost there, but we have to be more than ready,’ said Cooper. ‘Look at how many points they have got and goals they have scored.
Steve Cooper has warned Arsenal that Nottingham Forest have improved since October
Reiss Nelson scored a brace as Arsenal won 5-0 against Forest at Emirates Stadium
‘We’re coming up against a top team. Put all the context to our situation and theirs to one side and we know we have to be at our very best.
‘You always want your future to be in your own hands. We have managed to create that situation and that is what we have to capitalise on. A lot of hard work needs to go into keeping it like that but we have the confidence and motivation to make it that way.’
Cooper’s big call is whether to bring back top scorer Brennan Johnson after leaving him out of the starting XI for last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
Johnson has eight goals this term and is expected to attract interest from rival clubs at the end of the season but in Cooper’s 3-4-2-1 system, Danilo and Morgan Gibbs-White may be preferred behind lone striker Taiwo Awoniyi.
Cooper must decide whether to bring top scorer Brennan Johnson back into the starting XI
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