Steve Cooper applauds Brennan Johnson’s end product after another goal

Nottingham Forest v Stoke City – Sky Bet Championship – City Ground
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper is delighted that midfielder Brennan Johnson has added a ruthless streak to his armoury of talents after scoring in the 2-0 win over Bristol City.

Johnson, 20, grabbed his sixth goal in eight games before Manchester United loanee James Garner wrapped up a straightforward triumph at the City Ground.

And, on the former’s contribution, Cooper said: “I had a conversation with Brennan after Tuesday night (following the 0-0 draw at Preston) and it was good to see him get back to what he’s brilliant at – getting down the sides and being really creative.

“He’s also scoring goals now and, at that top end of the pitch, for all the ability we’ve got, there has to be an end product as well. He has that now with his assists and goals and we’ve got to keep pushing him on that.”

Cooper still felt his side should have won by a more convincing margin, but rightly praised away keeper Daniel Bentley for keeping the score down.

The former Brentford player showed sharp reflexes to deny Djed Spence, Steve Cook and Philip Zinckernagel with Cooper adding: “We played well from start to finish and were the dominant team.

“We were so in control of the game in the first half and I thought we needed to score which, fortunately, we did. Then, at half-time, I felt we could really carry on.

“It wasn’t a game I just wanted to see out – I wanted to get two or three more. We got one more and we created two or three other chances, but their keeper always seems to do well against my teams and he did today, whereas our keeper didn’t have much to do.

“We were well worthy of a 2-0 win and it probably should have been more but, as long as we keep creating a good number of chances, I know we will score goals. It was also good to put a poor performance behind us from Tuesday night and we were back up to speed.”

Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson agreed that Bentley was his team’s star player on an afternoon when he thought his side were poor.

He said: “The players were second best in all departments and we were miles off the pace.

“We made bad decisions defensively and couldn’t pass the ball in midfield in the areas that we wanted to and the forwards aren’t magicians – they can’t conjure something up from nothing, so that’s why we ended up with nothing.

“We also made too many mistakes. They didn’t have to be at their best to beat us, because too many of our players had an off day.

“When players make individual errors, it affects their confidence and that of the rest of the team. It was a bad day all round.

“I don’t often say that we were collectively second best but we were for almost the entirety of the game.”

Pearson also confirmed that 16-goal top-scorer Andreas Weimann, who managed the visitors’ only three shots during another underwhelming away performance, was not an injury concern after taking a first-half knock that saw him leave the pitch to receive treatment.

“He just got a kick and he’s alright,” Pearson said. “He’ll be fine.”

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