Bournemouth-Nottingham Forest Preview
Nottingham Forest may have made 21 signings in the transfer window, but Steve Cooper sees no reason they cannot be "connected" against Bournemouth on Saturday.
The two promoted sides have had contrasting seasons so far, with Cooper backed extensively in the transfer market while opposite number Scott Parker was sacked after bemoaning a lack of spending at Bournemouth.
Forest could be forgiven for taking time to settle, but Cooper will not accept that.
"I'm not going to use it as an excuse, I am not going to say 'we will be ready in X amount of time', because we have got a game on Saturday and we have to be ready for that," he said. "That is what my focus is – I never look further than the next game and never have done. Whether there is players that have been here for years or whether they have come through in the last couple of weeks, it is irrelevant to me.
"We work the way we work, we train the way we train, we stick to our values and beliefs, day in, day out. I believe that is what helps you become the team that you want to be. For me, I want us to be connected on Saturday in terms of a team, and we will commit to every game as it comes."
Bournemouth will be overseen by interim coach Gary O'Neil, whose bow came in a goalless draw with Wolves on Wednesday.
"The boys know we can go to Nottingham Forest and be competitive," he said. "It's a tough place to go, the crowd will be behind them, but we know we can go there and try to win the game."
Nottingham Forest – Morgan Gibbs-White
Gibbs-White was the most expensive of all of Forest's signings, and while there have been some bright moments, now is the time to deliver. This is a game Forest simply must win if they are to steer clear of trouble, and the midfielder can be key.
Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke
Bournemouth have not scored in four games, so Solanke's return from injury has come as a major boost. He could not net against Wolves, though, and much like Gibbs-White, the striker needs to play a big role in this game.
– Nottingham Forest are winless in their last four league games against Bournemouth (D1 L3), with the Cherries one of just three teams to win home and away against Forest in the Championship last season.
– Bournemouth won 2-1 away against Nottingham Forest in the Championship last season, their first ever away league win against them (D4 L4).
– The away side has won five of the last six Premier League meetings between two promoted clubs (L1), as many as in the previous 42 such matches in the competition (D11 L26).
– After losing 0-2 to Tottenham, Nottingham Forest are looking to avoid suffering back-to-back home league defeats for what would be a first time under Cooper. The Tricky Trees last lost consecutive league matches at the City Ground in September 2021 under Chris Hughton, a run of five that included a defeat to Bournemouth, while they last did so in the Premier League in March 1999 (a run of five).
– Bournemouth have lost 14 of their last 16 away Premier League games (W2), including both this season by an aggregate score of 0-13. Indeed, 13 goals conceded is the joint-most by a side in their first two away matches of a top-flight campaign, along with Stoke City in 1889-90.
Updated September 2, 2022