Nottingham Forest lament 'self-inflicted' loss to Fulham

Forest squander lead for the second successive Premier League game as they slip to 3-2 home defeat

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Steve Cooper feels Nottingham Forest's problems are "self-inflicted" after familiar failings led to a 3-2 defeat against Fulham at the City Ground.

A fortnight after squandering a two-goal lead against Bournemouth to lose 3-2, Forest went ahead early on through Taiwo Awoniyi against the Cottagers but then conceded three times in a breathless six-minute window.

Tosin Adarabioyo levelled after 54 minutes before Joao Palhinha's terrific strike put them ahead, while Harrison Reed's first goal for Fulham meant Lewis O'Brien's effort was a mere consolation for Forest.

Cooper said: "It's self-inflicted again. We should look no further than at ourselves. What we're not doing at the moment is, when we concede a goal, we're not managing the moments after it well enough.

"A couple of times now we've been punished. Whether it's concentration or a bit of anxiety or trying to get back into the game too quickly, I don't know."

Asked whether his side were still mentally scarred by their setback against the Cherries, Cooper replied: "Maybe. You'd have to say yes. We were playing well when they got their first goal, probably our best moment in terms of general play in the game. Maybe it was a body blow."

Forest were condemned to a fourth successive defeat, during which time they have shipped 14 goals, and remain second bottom in the Premier League after taking just four points from their first seven games.

They have overhauled their squad since achieving promotion from the Championship via the play-offs last season, making a total of 22 signings over a hectic summer.

The Forest head coach added: "Some of our game is positive and it looks like we're progressing, but there's other parts of our game where we do look like a new team, there's no doubt about that.

"When you need to regroup and when you need to stay together, that comes with an experienced team with connections on the pitch.

"It's something we don't have with the nature of the squad that has been put together and the timing of it. That's the sort of stuff you address in pre-season.

"But obviously we're addressing it right in the middle of the Premier League. But we look no further than ourselves, the only thing we can continue to work hard and address that and improve."

Updated: September 17, 2022, 9:13 AM
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