Nottingham Forest hoping for divine EPL intervention after announcing new coach Espirito Santo


Nottingham Forest have announced the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo as their new head coach.

The Portuguese signed a two-and-a-half-year contract at the City Ground following Tuesday’s sacking of Steve Cooper.

Nuno, who will be in charge of Saturday’s clash against Bournemouth, returns to English football after a two-year absence following his exit from Tottenham.

He has been out of work since leaving Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad in November and takes over at Forest with the club five points above the relegation zone.

Nuno will be hoping to recapture the magic that saw him become one of the hottest properties in the Premier League when he guided Wolves to back-to-back seventh-placed finishes after winning promotion from the Championship.

He also took the Molineux club to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and was chosen by Spurs as the man to replace Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2021.

Welcome to Nottingham Forest, Nuno Espírito Santo ????

— Nottingham Forest (@NFFC) December 20, 2023

However, he lasted just 10 Premier League games before being sacked and was heavily criticised for his pragmatic style of play.

He was linked with a return to Wolves just over a year ago, but the midlands club chose Julen Lopetegui.

The 49-year-old replaces Cooper, who lost his job after a run of one win in 13 Premier League matches.

It was fan power that saved Cooper from the sack last term, but after another summer of heavy investment from owner Evangelos Marinakis, the Greek businessman has lost patience. 

Marinakis was eyeing a top-half finish this season but after a solid start to the campaign, results have not followed with Forest winning just once since beating Chelsea at the start of September. 

Cooper has kept his dignity following frenzied speculation surrounding his position. He leaves the City Ground a hero after becoming the man to end Forest’s 23-year exile from the top flight when he guided them to promotion in 2022. 

A difficult first year followed and Cooper’s job was under continual threat before a late-season rally lifted them to 16th place.

Marinakis said: “Everyone at Nottingham Forest would like to thank Steve for his superb contribution to our football club.

“His achievement in guiding Forest back to the Premier League will undoubtedly remain an iconic moment in the club’s history.”

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