Steve Cooper ready for ‘one of the greatest challenges in world football’ at Man City

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper says Wednesday’s visit to Manchester City is “one of the greatest challenges in club football around the world”.

Three days after welcoming Spurs to the City Ground, Cooper takes his side to the Etihad Stadium to face the defending champions in a tough baptism of fire as they return to the top flight.

City have looked vulnerable this season, conceding two-goal deficits against Newcastle and Crystal Palace, but Erling Haaland’s scoring prowess saved them.

Cooper is sure what a tough experience it will be.

“I think it’s going to be a different game than Spurs’ game,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to going to Man City, it’s one of the biggest challenges in club football worldwide, there’s no doubt about that.

“But that’s why we want to be in the Premier League, we want to be a part of that. Hopefully we have to go there with the right plan and support the players to do our best tonight.

“If we can do that and present ourselves well – we want to be the best version of ourselves – and if we can do that, we’ll see where that takes us.

“That’s why we have to really believe in ourselves. You have to go into these games thinking that you can succeed, and we’re going to do that.

“Harry Kane on Sunday and Haaland tomorrow, two world-class forwards and goalscorers. That’s why you want to be in this league, you face the best players in the world. City not only have Haaland, they have a number of players.

“We wanted that, we worked as hard for it as we did last season.”

Forest made Renan Lodi his 18th summer contract on Monday as he was loaned out by Atletico Madrid with the option of a permanent move.

According to Cooper, 48 hours before the transfer window there is still the possibility of further arrivals.

“We could go to deadline,” he said. “We could bring in more players, we could see more players come out and we might not be able to bring in any players at all, so anything could happen.

“Although we have good communication with the board and owners all the time, it takes enough time this week with three games.

“As it’s the day before the game that’s my focus and if something happened that we’d like to do I’m sure the lads would let me know.”

Orel Mangala, Moussa Niakhate (both hamstrings) and Omar Richards (leg) are all absent while Cooper was shy about whether Lodi would be involved. Steve Cooper ready for ‘one of the greatest challenges in world football’ at Man City

Fry Electronics Team

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