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'Cooper's side already seem to be a different force'

Nottingham Forest fan's voice graphic
Nottingham Forest fan's voice graphic

Pat Riddell, The Famous Club

Six points from four games, three of them away at Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Ninth in the table going into the international break, above Chelsea, Man Utd and Newcastle. Seven deadline day transfers on Friday, including long-term target Ibrahim Sangare for £30m.

If the start of last season was a demoralising time for Nottingham Forest, the start of this season is looking very, very different.

Home and away, Steve Cooper's side already seem to be a different force. Better organised, more competitive and clearly more composed and ruthless. There is still much to improve - possession, ball retention, controlling games - but the squad upgrade is a big step towards a new future.

Losing Brennan Johnson to Tottenham Hotspur was a blow, but the £47.5m fee enabled the club to strengthen almost everywhere across the pitch.

More importantly, the new signings arrive at a time when Cooper's philosophy and mentality has already been established and embedding them into the squad will be an easier task than last summer - when 22 new arrivals had to be crafted and shaped into a team.

With many games now lasting 100 minutes or more, the strength and depth in the squad should see Forest continue to improve throughout the season. How long we remain in the top half of the table is hard to tell, but staying out of bottom three is hopefully less of a fear.