Nottingham Forest coach, Steve Cooper, explains his decision to bench Taiwo Awoniyi in his side’s game at the Emirates Stadium.
Nottingham Forest coach, Steve Cooper has explained his decision to let Taiwo Awoniyi come on from the bench, rather than be in the starting line-up in the game against Arsenal, Soccernet.ng reports.
Lots of Nottingham Forest fans and the large Nigerian populace were shocked by the decision of the coach to bench Taiwo Awoniyi and their new signing, Antony Elanga. Instead, Brennan Johnson started in the place of Awoniyi, who turned twenty-six years old today, and missed a golden chance to send the Reds ahead, after he was sent through on goal, but he couldn’t even hit the target, sending his shot over the post. Arsenal would go on to score two stellar goals, and Nottingham had a hill to climb from there.
Awoniyi would get on the scoresheet though, as he came on in the 72nd minute, and scored ten minutes later, after an amazing run from fellow teammate and substitute, Antony Elanga. Forest would push forward for a draw, but Arsenal held on, and fans felt vindicated that should Awoniyi have started, the game might have turned out differently, probably in favour of the away side.
Nottingham Coach, Steve Cooper explained his decision to bench Awoniyi after the game, explaining that the forward wasn’t fully fit and could only afford very little time as he is still in the process of recovery. Speaking to TNT Sports, the coach said;
“We hope they’ll be fit for ninety minutes. They’ve only just got back. Brennan’s only just got back so he can’t play ninety minutes at the moment. That’s where we are right now. Taiwo came on and he could only play twenty minutes.”
The coach, however, remained hopeful ahead of the team’s next game.
“It was a bit of catching up and an unfortunate pre-season but the hope is we can get people back and compete for places”
Nottingham Forest continue their Premier League season next weekend as they take on Sheffield United next week Friday.