LEICESTER, England (AP) — Getting 22 new signings into the fold is a tough task for Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper.
A 4-0 defeat at former champions Leicester dropped Forest to last place in the English Premier League on Monday, with Cooper risking becoming the latest top-flight manager to lose his job.
Against the club’s Thai owner, Aiwat Srivadhanaprabha, who flew in for the game, Leicester got some respite with a dominant display that ended with a six-game losing streak.
James Maddison scored twice – one a curling free-kick from the far post – while Harvey Barnes and substitute Patterson Daka, with a brilliant flick from Maddison’s cross, added the other at the King Power Stadium. added to
The pressure, for now, is off Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, who looks like someone who can’t get any more out of his squad after the 6-2 loss to Tottenham before the international break. Get the best benefit.
“It was a season-changing game,” Rodgers said, “and to get the performance we did, hopefully we can push on.”
“I felt we had a terrible summer – that’s the truth – and that continued into the season. We just didn’t play up to par … but we’ve been able to sort it out.
Now, Forest are a league crisis club and Cooper is the manager struggling to survive.
“I fully understand the situation and the questions and respect that 100%,” Cooper said, when asked if his future was in doubt. “But my concern is that we lose another game for this club, not my own situation, because I care more about the club than my personal circumstances.
“I’m not criticizing the players as a group because it’s a new challenge.”
After returning to the league after a 23-year absence, Forest are among Europe’s top spenders – bringing in 22 records with spending in excess of $150 million.
Surprisingly, it took Cooper a while to discover his best lineup or formation. It remains to be seen how much longer he will last, with Forest replacing Leicester and conceding 16 goals in the last four games. Cooper’s team has lost five in a row.
“Some of the guys have only seen each other in the last couple of weeks,” Cooper said. “That’s the reality of the situation and something we’re dealing with. At the moment we’re being punished for periods in games where we’re not the team.
Leicester scored three goals in 10 minutes from the 25th to damage Forest’s fragile confidence. Maddison put the hosts ahead with a shot that deflected off Scott McKenna.
Two minutes later, Barnes curled a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area after Maddison had set Jamie Vardy free with a long-range pass.
Maddison completed the scoring with a free-kick from 25 meters that kissed the post as it came in and brought up his 50th goal for Leicester.
Cooper made three half-time changes – including one of his latest summer signings, right-back Serge O’Reilly – but things didn’t get any better.
Daka, for Vardy, stopped the scoring with a good flick from Maddison’s driven cross from the right.
It was an excellent all-round display from Maddison, who despite strong form for most of 2022 was disappointed not to feature in England’s final squad.
“It’s a bit of a strange position – we’re bottom of the league but I’m almost as confident as I’ve ever been. I can’t remember having played better in the last 12 months.
“I have to have the mindset,” he added, “I have to force my way in (to the England squad).”
The closest Forest came to scoring was a first-half effort from Taiwo Owinyi that hit the post, as Leicester kept their first clean sheet of the season.