Steve Cooper identifies area Djed Spence can improve on at Nottingham Forest | OneFootball

Steve Cooper identifies area Djed Spence can improve on at Nottingham Forest

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Football League World

Nottingham Forest put themselves firmly back on an upward trajectory with a last gasp 1-0 win at Millwall on Saturday.

It was the Reds’ second consecutive 1-0 victory, after knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup with Lewis Grabban also grabbing the only goal of the game, but one that ended a run of two straight defeats in the Championship.

Forest still have a lot of work to do to bridge the five point gap between themselves and Middlesbrough in sixth place, their next three fixtures all come against sides in the bottom five, presenting an opportunity to thrust themselves into the play-off mix.

Djed Spence has been a key performer from right wing back for Forest this season but Steve Cooper has identified an area of his game that could be improved in the coming months.

The Welshman explained what Spence has not done yet when he spoke to The Athletic.

Cooper said: “Djed is doing really well for us – but he has not got an assist yet, so that is an obvious challenge for him.

“He knows that – but he has also been unlucky, by the way, because he has created a lot of chances. But for all his attacking play, he needs to start getting good numbers to reflect that.”

Spence has completed 10 shot assists this season and has created chances that equate to 0.97 expected assists according to Wyscout.

The Verdict

Quiz: Can you name which club Nottingham Forest signed these 28 defenders from?

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Steve Cook

AFC Bournemouth Fulham West Brom Sheffield United

Spence’s ball carrying and progression, and the speed at which he does it, has played a huge role in Forest’s rise up the Championship table in the last few months.

Cooper has built an excellent reputation for developing young players in recent years and it has been exciting to observe the way Spence has improved under him at the City Ground.

The next trio feel very significant in Forest’s season.

Taking on Derby County, Barnsley and Cardiff City, nine points would likely have Forest very close to breaking into the top six, anything but maximum points would feel like a missed opportunity even with just how well the Rams have been playing in the last month or so.

It feels like only a matter of time before Spence directly lays on a goalscorer and begins his assist tally for the season.

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