February 25, 2024

Taiwo Awoniyi has praised Steve Cooper’s influence at Nottingham Forest. The 26-year-old reportedly paid a club record £17 million to transfer from Union Berlin to the City Ground last summer. Since then, he has scored 14 goals across all competitions.

Due to an injury, Awoniyi has not been able to play and will not be present at Anfield on Sunday when Liverpool, his former team, plays. However, the Nigerian international has praised Cooper’s player-management style and recalled “the belief” he instilled in the team that they would not be relegated the previous season.

Taiwo Awoniyi of Nottingham Forest and Steve Cooper, Manager of Nottingham Forest celebrates after the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Arsenal FC at City Ground

According to Awoniyi, “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve worked under,” Liverpoolfc.com reported. “The approach he takes, the tone he uses when speaking with players, and the assurance he exudes.”

“You could see in his eyes that he always believed, that he knew we were going to stay up. We had a lot of pressure last season. Every player wants their manager to do that for them. If you are willing to work with him and put in the necessary effort, he gives you the confidence that you can truly reach the pinnacle of your career.

“I have already learned so much in my time in England, and I have improved so much,” he continued. The Premier League is not like any other league. It’s a league where you have to be mentally, technically, and physically prepared at all times.

“In the Premier League, anxiety is not acceptable; one must be present every week, 100 percent of the time, as there are so many strong teams, strong players. The level is so high. Every team is a big club, a team that can easily beat you. That is what sets it apart from the other leagues. The challenge every single week is huge.”

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