Former Aston Villa boss now ‘clear favourite’ to replace Premier League manager

Latest news involving a former Aston Villa manager and Nottingham Forest

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Former Aston Villa and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is now the clear favourite to replace Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest.

Cooper has endured a difficult season at the City Ground after he conducted an overhaul of the Forest squad that returned the club to the Premier League with a Championship play-off final win against Huddersfield Town last May. Yet it now looks likely the former Swansea City boss will help Forest preserve their top tier status after they claimed two wins and a draw in their last three fixtures to move three points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with just two games to go in the season.

With a home game against Arsenal and a final day visit to Crystal Palace still on the agenda, one more win could be enough to ensure Cooper’s men bring a successful end to their battle against relegation and begin the process of focusing on next season.

However, there is speculation suggesting the Forest board could dispense with Cooper’s services no matter what happens over the next ten days and Liverpool legend Gerrard is now odds-on favourite to step into the role and end his seven-month absence from management.

Speaking recently about his time away from the dugout in an interview with ‘The Manager’, the League Manager’s Association’s official magazine, he said: “I’ve had time to analyse and reflect thoroughly on the challenges of our second season. In football, you have to learn from your mistakes and take strength from your successes. You have to reset, wait and be patient for the fire and fight to return.

“I’ve been offered opportunities to manage at club and international level since I left Villa, including an exciting opportunity in an overseas league, but none have been right for me at this time. In the meantime, I’m enjoying being an Uber driver for my girls and my little boy.”

Patrick Vieira, Ralph Hassenhutl and former Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez are also amongst said to be in the frame to succeed Cooper if Forest opt for a change in the dugout this summer.