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Nottingham Forest’s decision to hand Steve Cooper a new contract will help keep the club “united”, according to the supporters’ trust.

Cooper signed a new three-year deal on Friday, just days after he was reportedly set to get the sack following a poor start to the season on their return to the Premier League.

The Welshman has retained the overwhelming support of the fans during this period, though, and they have not been quick to forget his achievements in winning promotion last term, when he guided them from the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship in September to play-off glory at Wembley in May.

Paul Severn, a board member of the Nottingham Forest Supporters’ Trust, says retaining the popular boss is important for keeping the club together.

He told the PA news agency: “When you lose a game against your local rivals it is natural to worry about the future of the manager, but it is pretty clear the fans are 100 per cent behind him, so that is a big thing.

“It is a brutal league and there is going to be speculation, but I think this is the right decision and hopefully starting on Monday everyone can come together united and we can start to get some points on the board.

“It is important that it isn’t club versus fans and that everyone is on the same page.

Cooper retained the support of the Forest fans
Cooper retained the support of the Forest fans (Richard Sellers/PA)

“The important thing about the promotion season was how everyone was united – players, management, club, fans. Everyone was together and it is amazing what you can achieve.

“This decision goes some way to bringing that back together.

“When a popular manager goes it is very divisive, so it would be very difficult for anyone to come in and take over in that scenario.

“So in the end it is the right decision for footballing reasons, but also for the club to be united and moving together, rather than discord, which is never good.”

Cooper is regarded as one of the best young coaches in the game, having excelled with England Under-17s, Swansea and now Forest.

The likes of Rafael Benitez and Sean Dyche were touted as possible replacements had Cooper been shown the door, but Severn says he remains the best man for the job.

“It would be difficult for any manager to take a team that has come up and be doing that much better. It is a case of being careful of what you wish for,” Severn added.

“He is a very talented manager and I wouldn’t want to see him leave and do well somewhere else and for us to flounder without him. I think there would have been a lot of takers.

“Three managers have already gone in the Premier League. It is brutal, but there is no guarantee that someone like Benitez or Dyche would be able to turn it around and keep them up.

“They have gone down another route, which is a good thing, of trying to bring everyone together rather than a divisive approach of removing a manager who is very popular and talented and would be highly sought-after by rival clubs.”