Steve Cooper faces tough decision over Emmanuel Dennis, Taiwo Awoniyi as Nottingham Forest striker


The England manager noted that with Dennis’s recent goal for Nottingham Forest, the Super Eagles striker has put himself in contention for a starting spot in the team.

Dennis scored Nottingham Forest’s only goal in a 1-1 draw with Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa in what was the Nigerian’s first Premier League start since joining the club.

Speaking about the goal scored by Dennis, Cooper believes the goal would help the 24-year-old’s confidence, as that’s what all attacking players want to do when they join a new team.

Cooper told the Nottinghampost: “It was great that he scored. That’s what attacking players want to do first when they arrive and when they play any game. And he showed glimpses of what he can offer.

“It was good to get him started. He did some really good things, especially the goal. He’s offered something that we can really look at moving forward now.”

The Nottingham Forest manager also highlighted Dennis’s bad luck with injuries, stating that minor knocks contributed to the Nigerian international not making his first Premier League start until October, despite joining the club in mid-August.

Cooper also confirmed that it was a shoulder injury that ruled the former Watford star out of recent international friendlies against Algeria.

“He’s had a bit of a frustrating time, Dennis. He seems to have taken more than a few hits that have sidelined him for a day or two and maybe ruled him out of the early games.

“In fact, he has a little problem with his shoulder, which he had just before the international break and ruled it out for a few weeks.

“He’s had a little bit of bad luck, in terms of putting on a real training run, getting some starts in the team and competing for a starting job.

“He hasn’t been able to do that. But luckily, in the last couple of weeks, he’s been pretty clean in terms of injuries and little setbacks.”

Emmanuel Dennis hopes to get the go-ahead to lead the line ahead of Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi and England striker Sam Surridge when Nottingham Forest travel to Molineux Stadium to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 15 October.


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