Ex-Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper is leading the race to replace Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace when he leaves the club, LondonWorld has been told. Cooper is ready to return to coaching after leaving the Nottingham Forest job just before Christmas last year.
Former Brighton manager Graham Potter is not being considered for the role due to his links with the Seagulls, but the 44-year-old Cooper is firmly in the driving seat at the moment if they decide to sack Roy Hodgson.
Hodgson is under immense pressure following a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal that has left them 14th in the Premier League table. The south London club have now won only one of their last 11 Premier League games and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton in midweek.
LondonWorld sources say the Crystal Palace board ideally would want to wait until the summer when Hodgson’s contract expires before deciding on who takes over from the veteran manager. But that resolve is now expected to be tested in the coming days with performances continuing to slump and defeats piling up.
They are currently five points above the relegation zone but they have played one more game than 18th-placed Luton Town. Palace interviewed Cooper in the summer and remain admirers of the former England Under-17 head coach.
Cooper established himself as an elite manager when he guided Nottingham Forest to Premier League promotion in 2022, ending a 23-year absence from the top flight.
He’s also credited with the ability to get the best out of young players having coached the likes of Marc Guehi and Conor Gallagher at Swansea when they were just coming through. Palace have invested heavily in young players like Michael Olise, Eberechi Eze, Matheus França and academy graduate Jesurun Rak-Sakyi and sources say they want Cooper to be the man to bring the best out of them.