Steve Cooper laments ‘self-inflicted’ problems after Forest were beaten by Fulham

Steve Cooper believes Nottingham Forest’s woes are ‘self-inflicted’ after well-known mistakes led to a 3-2 defeat by Fulham at the City Ground.

A fortnight after wasting a two-goal advantage against Bournemouth to lose 3-2, Forest took an early lead against the Cottagers through Taiwo Awoniyi but then conceded three times in a breathless six-minute window.

Tosin Adarabioyo equalized on 54 minutes before Joao Palhinha’s superb strike gave them the lead, while Harrison Reed’s first goal for Fulham meant Lewis O’Brien’s shot was only a consolation for Forest.

Joao Palhinha, left, gave Fulham the lead at the City Ground (Tim Goode/PA)

(PA wire)

Cooper said: “It’s self-inflicted again. We should look no further than ourselves. What we don’t do at the moment is if we concede a goal, we don’t manage the moments after that well enough.

“We’ve been punished a couple of times now. Whether it’s concentration or a bit of fear or trying to get back into the game too quickly, I don’t know.”

When asked if his side was still mentally scarred from their backlash against the cherries, Cooper replied, “Maybe. you would have to say yes

“We played well when they scored their first goal, probably our best moment in terms of overall play in the game. Maybe it was a body punch.”

Forest have been condemned to a fourth consecutive defeat, in which time they have scored 14 goals and remain second in the Premier League, having picked up just four points from their first seven games.

Harrison Reed scored his first goal for Fulham on Friday night (Tim Goode/PA)

(PA wire)

They have overhauled their squad since rising from the Sky Bet Championship via the play-offs last season, making 22 signings in total over a hectic summer.

The Forest head coach added: “Part of our game is positive and it looks like we’re making progress, but there are other parts of our game where we look like a new team, there’s no doubt about that.

“When you need to regroup and when you need to stay together, this is an experienced team with connections on the pitch.

“It’s something we don’t have with the type of squad put together and the timing. That’s the kind of thing you bring up in preseason.

“But obviously we’re bringing it up in the middle of the Premier League. But we look no further than ourselves, the only thing we can keep working hard on and address and improve on.”

Fulham, who topped the second division last season and finished 10 points ahead of Forest, are sixth in the Premier League but head coach Marco Silva refused to get too carried away.

He said: “The position in the table is not the most important thing for us. The way we match up with the opponents is the most important thing for me.

“We are looking for the place in the table at the end. It doesn’t matter now if you’re sixth, seventh or eighth, we want to score points and fight.

“But we are humble enough to understand that this is the Premier League. You can have a bad month and everything will change so quickly.”

Silva was heartened by her comeback on Friday night as the English top flight resumed after last weekend’s games were postponed following the death of the Queen.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed by the overwhelming majority at the City Ground, an occasional outburst then being drowned out by an ovation before the fans chanted God Save the King, while there was applause in the 70th minute to mark the length of the to remember the Queen’s reign.

Silva added: “It was fantastic. The way we came back after half-time was really, really good. We were the best team on the pitch and deserved the three points.

“We knew what kind of team we were playing against, even if they suffered a tough, tough defeat against Bournemouth, they have players of the highest individual quality. It’s difficult to play against them, but we made it.” Steve Cooper laments ‘self-inflicted’ problems after Forest were beaten by Fulham

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