Sheffield United's Premier League relegation rivals roll the dice as Steve Cooper's sacking confirmed

The Premier League relegation battle has taken another twist with Nottingham Forest's Steve Cooper becoming only the division’s second manager sacked this season.

Forest are expected to hand the reins to former Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers coach Nuno Espirito Santo in an attempt to stop their drift down the table.

They have taken one point from a possible 18, dropping them to 17th, one above the relegation zone. They still have a six-point cushion over bottom-placed Sheffield United, however, and five to Luton Town, immediately below them with a game in hand.

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Forest host Bournemouth on Saturday. They travel to Bramall Lane on the first weekend in May.

Popular with fans throughout, Cooper took over in September 2021 with Forest bottom of the Championship. He led them to promotion via the play-offs that season, beating Sheffield United in a semi-final penalty shoot-out, then Huddersfield Town.

After spending over £150m on a frankly excessive number of players, the two-time European Cup winners were 16th in their first top-flight season since 1999.

Cooper is only the second Premier League manager sacked this season after the Blades dispensed with Paul Heckingbottom at the start of the month.

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Ex-Porto goalkeeper Nuno built his reputation in England by taking Wolves from the Championship to the Europa League quarter-finals only to be sacked the following year as results dipped.

SACKED: Nottingham Forest have dispensed with manager Steve CooperSACKED: Nottingham Forest have dispensed with manager Steve Cooper
SACKED: Nottingham Forest have dispensed with manager Steve Cooper

A stint at Tottenham Hotspur lasted just 17 games with fans not enamoured by his football. His last job was in Saudi Arabia.

Cooper began coaching in Liverpool's academy but his finest hour came stepping up from England under-16 to under-17 coach and winning the European Championship. He left for Swansea City in 2019.

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