Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper is confident all of the club’s new recruits will be connected and fully committed to the cause in the Premier League.
Forest brought in defender Willy Boly from Wolves as well as defender Loic Bade on transfer deadline day, while winger Josh Bowler joined from Blackpool ahead of being sent on a season loan move to Greek side Olympiacos.
Despite all of the summer turnover, Cooper maintains the squad is not too big in itself – with additional quality cover needed on the bench if Forest are to stand up to the challenges ahead, which continue at home against fellow promoted side Bournemouth.
“I’m not going to use it (the number of new players) as an excuse, I am not going to say ‘we will be ready in X amount of time’ because we have got a game on Saturday and we have to be ready for that,” said the Forest boss, who saw his side beaten 6-0 at Manchester City on Wednesday night.
“That is what my focus is – I never look further than the next game and never have done.
“Whether there is players that have been here for years or whether they have come through in the last couple of weeks, it is irrelevant to me.
“We work the way we work, we train the way we train, we stick to our our values and beliefs, day in day out. I believe that is what helps you become the team that you want to be.
“For me I want us to be connected on Saturday in terms of a team and we will commit to every game as it comes.”
While Forest may have significantly bolstered Coopers options in all areas, the Welshman feels it is what is required if the club are to last the distance in the Premier League.
“It is not so much a big squad. It is a normal-sized squad in terms of the numbers that you need to train well every day,” Cooper said.
“It is nine subs this year, so I wouldn’t say it is a big squad. It is just a big amount of new players, so there is two different things there.
“To have a strong bench, obviously there is people that need to be on it that may or may not be happy. That is just the world of management in the Premier League.
“It is not just a question you could ask me. You can ask most managers in the league about keeping everybody happy.
“But there is nothing new in that – all players want to play, but not everybody can. You sort of disappoint an element of the group every time you pick a team and that will never change.”
Cooper is expecting a response from Wednesday night’s comprehensive defeat at the Etihad Stadium, where Erling Haaland struck a second-successive Premier League hat-trick.
“I am sure that the team will be feeling like I am, obviously disappointed, but really motivated,” Cooper said at a press conference.
“I want us to be a team and I want to be a manager and a set of staff that doesn’t just sort of smile after wins and be happy, but can show that we can deal with defeats as well.
“Recovering from setbacks, losses and poor performances is a massive part of succeeding in the the long term and we have got an opportunity to do that now.
“What has happened in the last couple of games has made us really focus on what we bring to the next game.”
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