Jesse Lingard makes the right impression on Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper


Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper says the Jesse Lingard he encountered does not live up to public perception.

Lingard raised eyebrows when he decided to sign for Forest on a free transfer after leaving Manchester United after turning down interest from his former loan club West Ham.

The England international spent most of the summer making TikTok videos and earning a high profile on social media.

But Cooper hasn’t seen that version of him and was impressed by the 29-year-old.

“I’m just worried about how we see Jesse every day with Nottingham Forest, his game preparation and how he plays in games,” he said.

“I’m happy with how he’s settled in.

“It feels like he’s been here for more than a few weeks. We’re trying to get him to perform at his best because when he’s at his best he’ll be an important player for us.

“I look at him – he looks happy to be here. You look and you see what relationships are formed and who is hanging out with whom.

“There are so many people who see us as players and managers that if you think about it too much, you can get tangled up.

“Those were positive first impressions. He’s a likeable guy. Very into his football.

“Not every player is, some like to step away from it. He’s interested in tactics, training – he was last outside – always has a ball at his feet.

“I understand there will be many questions about what he has done in the past.

Lingard made his debut against Newcastle last week (Richard Sellers/PA)

(PA wire)

“But I didn’t see anything unusual.”

Lingard will want to fire when Forest play their first Premier League game since 1999 against the Hammers on Sunday, who he could have joined in the summer.

But Cooper added, “The opponent isn’t relevant to how I look at them.

“I just want him to be at his best and happiest for Nottingham Forest. If you do that, you’ll get the best out of them.

“If Jesse can get himself to a level where he can do his best, we know he can make a difference in every game.

“We want to do that, but to do that we have to make sure everyone else is doing their best too.

“We have to get him good service and good balls, then they have the opportunity to win games.” Jesse Lingard makes the right impression on Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper

Fry Electronics Team

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