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Forest owner backs Cooper but warns results must improve

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis said Steve Cooper will remain in charge of the struggling Premier League club but warned results must “improve immediately”.

Forest’s 2-1 defeat at relegation-rivals Leeds on Tuesday extended their winless league run to eight matches and left them 17th in the table — above the drop zone only on goal difference.

But in a statement on the club’s website, Marinakis said he was standing by Cooper after reports emerged that the coach faced the sack.

“We wish to end the speculation and the false and disruptive reporting in the media to confirm that Steve Cooper remains our manager at Nottingham Forest,” said the Greek billionaire.

“We have all been disappointed with recent performances and it is very clear that a lot of hard work needs to be done to address this urgently. Results and performances must improve immediately.”

Cooper, who signed a new contract at the club in October, insisted after his side’s defeat at Elland Road that he was not worried about his own future.

“I always think of the greater good of the club, so any sort of worry, disappointment, frustration I’m feeling right now is the fact that Forest have lost a game they could have done so much better in,” he said.

Cooper, who won promotion to the English top flight with Forest last year, said he trusted in himself and his players to secure their Premier League status.

“I really believe in the players, I really believe in what we do and really believe in the club and it’s a bit frustrating now because we just played like we did,” he said.

“There was an opportunity to go 13th in the league, build a bit of a gap and obviously Leeds were going for the same thing as well and there’s frustration around that.”

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