Steve Cooper says "magical" Nottingham Forest are back where they belong
Steve Cooper celebrates on the field as Nottingham Forest achieve promotion to the Premier League: James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Steve Cooper appeared overwhelmed with elation after securing an historic promotion back to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest

The Reds are back with the footballing giants for the first time since 1999 after Levi Colwill’s own-goal separated themselves and Huddersfield Town in the Championship Play-off Final

It marks an incredible turnaround from Cooper, who took over the club when they were sitting rock bottom of the division after eight matches – winning just one of those opening fixtures. 

But, while it marks a big day for the club, it is also a big moment for Cooper, who fell at this hurdle just twelve months ago with Swansea City. There are fine margins in finals like this and his team was on the right end of them this time around. 

On Premier League promotion

The Welshman was often on the verge of tears – happy ones of course – as he dissected Forest's return to the top division. 

“There’s such goodwill around the club," Cooper beamed. We’ve been desperate for something like this. I’ve felt this over the last eight-to-nine months. We’ve just tried to put a sense of belief amongst the club that is connected with the supporters.

"There’s no doubt we deserve to be promoted [because] of the football that we’ve played, the games that we’ve won and the attitude that we’ve given. 

"I’m just really proud of everybody connected with the football club. It’s a magical football club and we’ve reminded the world of that. 

On the Huddersfield game

Cooper admitted that the game itself was not necessarily a spectacle but he felt that the style of the performance did not really matter. 

"What game!", he jested. "They’re never thrillers, are they? I don’t apologise for not [putting in] a perfect performance. It was probably a typical Play-off Final game. I thought we controlled the first-half with possession. 

"They were deep and we had to be careful of counter attacks and we had to be careful of set-pieces – which we managed really, really well. I know the goal was a somewhat scruffy one – although it was a good ball in from Jim (Garner) – but that was exactly the game-plan. 

“It was to surround the box, [put] wing-backs high, midfield players and one of the centre-backs getting ready to serve in that block while being creative in amongst it. In the end we found a way.”