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When was the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League?  And why Steve Cooper could be the man to end years of pain and bring Forest back to the big time


Nottingham Forest are one of England’s most famous clubs, but they haven’t been in the Premier League for long.

Twice European champions, they have won the FA Cup twice and were once stalwarts of the top flight.

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For today’s generation, Forest winning the Champions League looks like an impossible dream

When was the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League?  And why Steve Cooper could be the man to end years of pain and bring Forest back to the big time

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But under Brian Clough the club won back-to-back European Cups

However, they ran out of time in the Premier League but things could change this year.

Forest book their place in the Championship play-off final by beating Sheffield United on penalties and will now face Huddersfield for the chance to move up.

With that in mind, talkSPORT.com has taken a look at when Nottingham Forest were last in the English top flight and why manager Steve Cooper could be the man to reclaim them.

Once upon a time in the Premier League…

The Tricky Trees were part of the inaugural Premier League season but finished bottom with 40 points.

They won promotion the following year and the 1994/95 campaign was a thrilling spectacle for those at the City Ground as Forest finished third on 77 points.

Stan Collymore was the star, scoring 22 goals and Forest secured their biggest Premier League victory that season beating Sheffield Wednesday 7-1 at Hillsborough.


When was the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League?  And why Steve Cooper could be the man to end years of pain and bring Forest back to the big time

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Manager Cooper has transformed Forest from relegation contenders into a team seeking promotions

The result means they became the first Premier League side to score seven away goals.

The following year Forest finished ninth before being relegated in the 1996/97 season, winning just six games but managing 16 draws.

They returned as champions, but the 1998/99 season proved to be their final in the top flight as they finished the season with 30 points and finished bottom for the third time in their Premier League history. .

However, there was not to be a quick comeback and they have been out of the top flight ever since and even slipped into Ligue 1 in 2005, spending three seasons in the third tier.

That means it’s now 23 years since Forest last played in the Premier League, so there will be plenty of supporters – and players – who won’t remember the club in the Premier League or who weren’t even born.

Defender Djed Spence, for example, was born in 2000.

When was the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League?  And why Steve Cooper could be the man to end years of pain and bring Forest back to the big time

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Spence is just 21 but was a key player on his loan from Boro

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The former Swansea manager’s first game in charge of Forest came at the end of September against Millwall.

By then, the club had collected four points and sat in 23rd place.

They drew 1-1, and since then they haven’t looked back.

During that time, they have only lost six league matches and made ten more.

Cooper found a way to win and he trusted Brennan Johnson, Djed Spence and James Garner.

It’s a young and talented team who have invested in Cooper’s ideas and seem unstoppable at the moment.

When was the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League?  And why Steve Cooper could be the man to end years of pain and bring Forest back to the big time

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Johnson has been a standout this year for Forest

When was the last time Nottingham Forest were in the Premier League?  And why Steve Cooper could be the man to end years of pain and bring Forest back to the big time

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It’s a good time to be a Forest fan right now

But Forest haven’t just played in the league and have held their own against the Premier League’s best opponents in the FA Cup this season, beating Arsenal and beating Leicester, while only narrowly losing to Liverpool.

When he took over Forest, the play-offs seemed like a distant dream, but that’s where they found themselves and are now planning their trip to Wembley.

“Am I enjoying the trip? Yeah, I enjoyed it from day one,” Cooper said.

“How could you not?” It’s great to be here every day. I love coming to work.

“When we win, I feel on top of the world. When you lose, it hurts. When it hurts, you know something matters to you.

“It’s really important.

“If we do, I’ll tell you what it means to me…”

The future looks very bright and it’s all thanks to the man from Pontypridd.

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