Taiwo Awoniyi scored 11 goals and registered 1 assist in all competitions for Nottingham Forest in his first season at the club last campaign
Nottingham Forest, boss Steve Cooper, has challenged Super Eagles striker Taiwo Awoniyi to better his last-term goal haul, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 26-year-old made a significant impact in his first season with the Tricky Tree, scoring 10 Premier League goals to help them avoid immediate relegation back to the English second tier after they gained promotion to the top flight for the first time in 23 years at the end of 2021/22 season.
His notable performance came at the City Ground against the then-title chasers Arsenal, where he notched up the only goal for Forest in a 1-0 victory over the London club, which confirmed their Premier League status for another year.
Awoniyi has picked up from where he left off last campaign, netting two goals in two league games this new season, and his manager has set a fresh challenge for him to better his 11 goals return in all competitions for the club last term, hoping that the 26-year old might be able to get near 20 goals this campaign.
I hope he can, Cooper said. That would be nice! He scored a lot of goals at Union Berlin. That’s the hope. That’s the plan. That’s the challenge for him. That’s the challenge for us coaches, to push him, Cooper said in a press conference, as quoted by nottinghamshirelive
There’s a lot of individual work going on with him and all the other guys, because that’s a big part of our work. What’s a great honor about T is he wants to work, he wants to challenge and he wants to push.
He needs a bit of luck with injuries and availability. I hope he gets it.
Let’s hope he can reach that mark. But it will only be if he continues to do what he’s been doing every day – and I don’t just mean in games, I mean his attitude to work at the training ground, both on and off the pitch.
He added: He’s been brilliant since he returned from that harsh injury he picked up against Southampton last year. He’s also had a stop-start preseason.
He’s not really match-fit – same with Brennan Johnson. So to show the level of performance he is – and not just in games but in training as well – he is really looking like a real handful. Hopefully that can continue.
He’s really a humble guy who just wants to work hard and play for the team. His wife had a baby while we were playing Arsenal, so I’m really pleased they had an amazing week, the Welsh manager concluded
After netting in his last six Premier League appearances, Awoniyi will aim to equal Mohammed Salah and Emmanuel Adebayor’s record for the longest streak by an African player when Forest face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.