With a shiny new contract, Steve Cooper and Nottingham Forest needed a response. Although they didn’t get the three points they were longing for, they broke their five-game losing streak after drawing a dull but hot home game against Aston Villa, a result that also lifted them from the bottom of the table. gives.
For Steven Gerrard, it was another disappointing watch as his Villa team went back to work in the last third. Ashley Young’s sensational strike canceled Emmanuel Dennis’ first goal on an autumn afternoon at the River Trent, but Villa returned nine points from their first nine games – a tally that meant they were three points above the zone downhill. Well, it’s not the start they expected.
The full-time whistle received some boons from the far wing. While some remaining glass-half-full Villa fans may point out that the draw extends their unbeaten streak to four games, it was not a narrative Gerard was prepared to contemplate. “I don’t want to sit here and talk about invincibility in four games because that’s not enough.
“In the last two performances, we need to get maximum marks instead of just one, so there is a lot of disappointment. I have challenged the strikers to give us more because I think it is not much wrong till then.
After another eventful week, One fan made their love for Cooper clear. As the Forest Manager made his way to the bench minutes before kick-off, as is his ritual, he applauded and enthralled adorable fans from around the stadium, some of whom raised a flag at the Bridgford Grandstand and a Banner with the words “Leader of Garibaldi” a reassuring thumbs up. On the final whistle, Cooper went a lap around the field, hitting his chest as he went.
When asked what the fans’ support meant to him, Cooper replied succinctly, “Everything. I’m not a big fan of personal attention; in personal terms, no one will ever know what it means.” “
For Villa, it was another game that Gerard described as his “big hitter”. Philippe Coutinho was withdrawn 65 minutes after another anonymous performance, Amy Bendia was cheered for cheating and Ollie Watkins was dethroned. In midfield, John McGuinn’s possession was very heavy and Douglas Luiz seemed indifferent.
The essence of Coutinho’s night came to an end when he overtook Ryan Yates, who was enjoying wearing the captain’s armband for Forest, then proceeded to take his shot high and wide. “There are names, there is talent,” said Gerard. “We’ve recruited a lot in that area and it’s only fair that we demand and expect more.”
Forest hope Cooper’s new three-year deal will quell the chaos, but Dennis’ first goal in the 15th minute stirred up an already raucous home crowd. Morgan Gibbs-White sent a free kick into the box, and Dennis easily sidelined Tyrone Mings and hit a free header in front of Amy Martinez.
Gerrard was soon deep in an argument with Villa’s set-piece coach, Austin McPhee, possibly asking how Dennis was given such a high-scoring spot in his Full One league debut.
Just when it looked like Villa was running out of ideas, the 37-year-old Young, arguably Villa’s best player in recent weeks, made a brilliant equalizer. Watkins climbs up on Serge Aurier to head the ball into the 18-yard box. Yates dove over the ball to clear the head, but it tactfully fell to the edge of the box and Young hit a clean shot into the top corner. Cooper lashed out at fourth official Tony Harrington, furious that Villa was given a free kick mid-setup, with Ezri Konsa lucky enough to earn a foul after engaging with Gibbs-White.
“We have to focus on the positives,” Cooper said. “We’re out at the bottom of the league and it’s a little psychological progress.”
“I’m not stupid. My head isn’t in the sand. I know there’s pressure, from day one we didn’t get the result we should have against Bournemouth. I’m very aware of the outside noise, the pressure, and what it say. People abroad.”