Steve Cooper knew matchwinner Taiwo Awoniyi ‘would be a handful for Virgil van Dijk’
Steve Cooper knew match-winner Taiwo Awoniyi “would be a handful for Virgil van Dijk”… as the Nottingham Forest striker returns to pursue former club Liverpool with the only goal in their win
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper knew Taiwo Awoniyi would make an impact
The forward scored the only goal of the game in Forest’s win over Liverpool
The Nigerian was a Liverpool player for six years but never played for the club
Cooper also wants his side to build on the result against the Reds going forward
Steve Cooper’s hunch that former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi could shine against his old club paid off at the City Ground.
Awoniyi, who was a Liverpool player between 2015 and 2021 without making a first-team appearance due to work permit issues, received the nod from his Nottingham Forest boss ahead of Brennan Johnson and Emmanuel Dennis and scored the only goal of the game after 55 minutes and muted his celebration out of respect for Liverpool.
I’ve worked so hard We played him today, we thought he could be a handful for Virgil van Dijk. He really showed that and deserved his goal,” said Cooper.
Taiwo Awoniyi cheered on his former side Liverpool as he scored Forest’s winner
Out of respect for his former team, Awoniy initially celebrated the goal with restraint
“If he hasn’t celebrated, I will support whatever a player decides to do. Liverpool have a lot of ball and territory, we also had some good chances.
Forest’s famous victory brought back memories of big European battles between clubs, as Brian Clough and Bob Paisley.
“We needed positive outcomes – it was also about the history and nostalgia of the game,” Cooper added. “I know Forest fans would have looked to see when this game was going to happen. We have delighted many generations of fans
Manager Steve Cooper wants his Nottingham Forest side to build on the win against Liverpool
“We’re nowhere near the league position or points tally that we’ve had, but at the same time we have a reference point to build on.”
Awoniyi, who was signed in the summer as one of 23 new Forest purchases from Union Berlin for £17m, added: “I’m happy but the most important thing is three points. I’ll never forget scoring against Liverpool.
“I will always be grateful to them for discovering me from Nigeria. It was amazing to score against them.’
Awoniyi admitted he’s still grateful to Liverpool for spotting him when he was in Nigeria
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11343829/Steve-Cooper-knew-match-winner-Taiwo-Awoniyi-handful-Virgil-van-Dijk.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Steve Cooper knew matchwinner Taiwo Awoniyi ‘would be a handful for Virgil van Dijk’