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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues head to Nottingham Forest

Return match of thrilling opening day encounter...

6 April 2022

The Sky Blues travel to Nottingham Forest in this midweek fixture. Here's everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Name: Nottingham Forest Football Club
Founded: 1865
Stadium: The City Ground
Capacity: 30,445
Nickname: Forest, The Reds
Address: City Ground, West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, NG2 5FJ
Pitch Size: 115 x 78 yards

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The Opposition

Nottingham Forest are in the hunt for a return to the Premier League after 23-year absence from the top-flight. The Reds are 7th in the Championship - one spot outside the play-offs - but have the advantage of three games to be played as they lead the chasing pack.

A managerial switch in September has seen Forest climb up the table, going from early season relegation battlers, to one of the most in-form sides in the league.

Forest brought in reinforcements in the January Transfer Window, with the experienced Steve Cook arriving, alongside youthful prospects Keinan Davies, Sam Surridge, and Jonathan Panzo.

Welsh International Brennan Johnson tops the goal-scoring charts (13), shortly followed by veteran striker Lewis Grabban (12).

The young Welshman has been in fine form for Forest this campaign, breaking out at the end of last season and continuing his fine development this, also topping side for most assists (7).

 

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The Manager: Steve Cooper

Welsh-born defender Steve Cooper had a short and brief playing career, with the lump sum of his games coming for Bangor City.

However, management is where Cooper excelled, with roles in the youth academy at Wrexham and Liverpool giving the Welshman his first forray into management. 

The youth trend then continued, as Cooper took charge of England’s Under-16 side, progressing with the age group to Under-17s and leading them to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup title in 2017.

Following his success at youth level, Cooper took his first steps into the senior game, appointed as Swansea City boss where he lead them to their best start to a league season in 41 years and subsequently a play-off semi final finish.

In the following season, Cooper again lead the Swans to the play-offs, surpassing his achievement the campaign prior- reaching the final, but unfortunately losing to now-Premier League side Brentford. 

After leaving the club by mutual consent at the end of that season, Cooper was quickly snapped up by Nottingham Forest, with the club parting ways with Chris Hughton after a rough opening to the campaign. 

The club, then lingering near the bottom of the table, faced an uphill battle to go one further than their 7th-placed finish from the year before. 

 

Last Six Games

Won - Blackpool 1-4 Nottingham Forest (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost - Nottingham Forest 0-1 Liverpool (FA Cup sixth round)
Won - Nottingham Forest 3-1 QPR (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - Nottingham Forest 4-0 Reading (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - Nottingham Forest 2-1 Huddersfield (FA Cup fifth round)
Draw - Sheffield United 1-1 Nottingham Forest (Sky Bet Championship)

 

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Last Time We Met

Kyle McFadzean’s goal in ‘Coventry City time’ sealed an electric opening day win the last time the Sky Blues met Nottingham Forest.

Despite having the run of play for large sections of the match, Mark Robins’ side found themselves behind at the break after Lyle Taylor’s penalty box finish put the visitor's ahead.

With an attendance of over 20,000 fans to mark the Sky Blues' return to Coventry, Viktor Gyökeres re-announced himself to the fans, after signing on a permanent deal in the summer, cropping up and smashing home to level proceedings.

The Sky Blues got their winner through the skipper, Kyle McFadzean, who wrestled off his man to strike past Brice Samba- who could only push the ball into his net- to make it 2-1 to City.

 

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues wins - 20
Draws - 28
Nottingham Forest wins - 47

 

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Club Connection: Stuart Pearce MBE

After 176 appearances in five years with Wealdstone FC, Stuart Pearce came to Coventry for £30,000- a large fee for a semi-professional player at the time.

Pearce spent two years with the Sky Blues, registering over 50 appearances, notching four goals in the process.

Following his stint with City, Pearce moved to Nottingham Forest, where he also advertised his services as an electrician in the match-day programme. 

Forest proved to be Pearce’s most fruitful spell of his career, spending 12 years with the Reds, amounting a staggering tally of over 400 appearances. 

Most of his time at Forest was spent as club captain, where he won the League Cup in consecutive years (1988-89, 1989-90), before then moving onto have spells at Newcastle and West Ham United. 

Pearce finished off his playing career at Manchester City, wrapping up his 24 years in the game.

 

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Match Officials 

Tim Robinson is the man in the middle for the clash at the City Ground.

Robinson is yet to take charge of a Sky Blues game this season, but he will be assisted by Nigel Lugg and Robert Hyde as linesmen for the night.

Leigh Doughty will be responsible for the fourth official duties.


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