"We deserved the win": Steve Cooper on huge home win against West Ham
The City Ground - where Nottingham Forest won their first home Premier League game for 23 years. Photo by Michael Regan - Getty Images

Steve Cooper was very positive following his side's win by one goal to nil at home to West Ham, saying his side responded well to the disappointing defeat at Newcastle last weekend. 

This was Nottingham Forest's first win, clean sheet and three points of the Premier League season as they took the lead with the only goal of the game coming from Taiwo Awoniyi in the second minute of additional time in the first half. 

However, despite the low score-line the game wasn't without controversy. One goal was ruled out from Said Benrahma in the 42nd  for West Ham due to a foul given to the Reds following a challenge from Michail Antonio - a decision which Cooper agreed with - and a goal disallowed for Forest by Brennan Johnson in the 54th minute for offside.

Following the defeat at Newcastle, Cooper believed his side needed to learn from the defeat as they gave the ball away often, their in game possession was poor and they were not up to speed, which Forest improved on against The Hammers.

  • On Forest's performance 

It was a game of two halves, in the first 45 minutes The Reds were more attacking and brave, whereas in the second half they had to play more conservatively, staying switched on defensively to deal with The Hammers' attacking threats as they began to take control of the ball.

"I thought we we were good today, first half I thought we were much the better team, we really took the game to West Ham, played high up the pitch and played some good football.

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"With our approach to the first half, obviously the fans were amazing today and they obviously got off their feet pretty early because of the way we started the game, and like I said, we were really good first half, a couple of moments against us that were against the run of play and against the momentum but we recovered from that and played some good football in the build up to the goals and had a little bit of good fortune."

  • On the controversy in the match

Many West Ham fans online believed the referee was wrong to rule out Benrahma's goal which was chalked off due to a foul by Antonio in the build up. However, Cooper was quick to agree with the decision.


"Obviously VAR has made the decision, I was disappointed he didn't make the decision in real time because it was very very clear to everybody that it was a foul, and the ref had a good position so I was disappointed in that and obviously VAR did its job and it’s not even a talking point really the right decision was made."

  • On the second half being a more defensive half for Forest

West Ham came into the game as the minutes got closer to full time and Cooper praised his side and how they managed the game.

“We were so keen to get up and running with points as you do at any start of the season but particularly this season being in the Premier League, and losing last week, so we knew that it was going to be a game of two halves, like I said we were excellent the first half, with the football we played and how we took the game to West Ham and we were disappointed not to score before we did, and then it was about showing the other side second half which we did really really well."

Furthermore, Cooper didn't believe they were lucky to win the game following their less attacking second half performance.

"We missed some good chances off set pieces in the second half as well, we were disappointed with one of them not being converted.

"We were up against it second half and okay there was a penalty, but I wouldn't say there was loads of peppering of our goal, I thought we defended the box and our low block, as we call it, went well."

Nottingham Forest move into 10th position in the table and next Saturday make the trip to Goodison Park where they take on a struggling Everton team.

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