Nottingham Forest are ahead of Arsenal, Man City and Manchester United in the 2023 Premier League table, but Steve Cooper says they can reach higher levels

Nottingham Forest’s win over Leeds means they top the Premier League table in the 2023 calendar year.

Brennan Johnson’s first-half strike guided them to three points against Jesse Marsch’s men at the City Ground.


Brennan Johnson’s goal gave Forest a big win over Leeds

Their 1-0 win over the Yorkshire side means they have 11 points after five games in the calendar year.

Premier League leaders Arsenal have just seven in their four games, with Manchester City in nine so far. Meanwhile, Manchester United have ten points from five matches.

Despite the huge win which sees them climb to 13th in the table, Forest boss Steve Cooper believes his side can still reach higher levels.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “Yeah definitely [a hard earned victory]. We haven’t quite reached the levels of performance that we can and need.

“Of course we can’t hide the fact that we didn’t play well in the first half. Clélor [Navas] must have made some really big stops for us. We scored a great goal in terms of finishing Brennan.

“Half time couldn’t come fast enough to be honest. We changed a few things… changed tactically.

Cooper's side have impressed so far this year


Cooper’s side have impressed so far this year

“I think we were great in the second half without the ball, I don’t think they had a real chance of any kind in the second half, and we handled the game really well.

“So a good win, a nice win and I keep telling myself that when you’re not playing well that’s the most important thing, maybe I’m learning.

“But look, it’s a massive win, it’s probably the first time that we haven’t quite hit the peaks in terms of performance, but we got something out of it in terms of winning.”

He added: “When we didn’t play well before losing, maybe the players deserve that bit of luck.

“My job is to look deeper. I am obviously very happy with the victory but I have to look a little further and say to myself ‘come on, we have to play a little better than that in the first half with the ball’.

The Forest boss thinks they could have played better in the win


The Forest boss thinks they could have played better in the win

“Guys will know it too because it’s their mentality and their attitude, but at the same time we can’t ignore the fact that it’s a really good win. The attitude was brilliant from the players, like she still is.

Forest, unbeaten in their last five league games, are now six points clear of the relegation zone.

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