Soccer

Steve Cooper says Forest must take care of their own business

Forest could be safe if they beat Arsenal and Everton lose this weekend (Mike Egerton/PA)
Forest could be safe if they beat Arsenal and Everton lose this weekend (Mike Egerton/PA)

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper says his side cannot let the outcome of Everton’s game with Wolves affect preparations for their clash with Arsenal.

Forest welcome the Gunners to the City Ground on Saturday night knowing that if Everton lose at Molineux earlier in the day then a victory for them would ensure their survival.

Even if they lose against Arsenal they could virtually be safe if West Ham beat Leeds and Leicester lose at Newcastle.

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Forest drew 2-2 at Chelsea last time out (Nigel French/PA)

But Cooper is wary of the attention being anywhere other than a hugely difficult fixture against Mikel Arteta’s side.

“I understand, but the opposite could happen as well,” the Welshman said in reference to Everton losing. “In the end it’s about us trying to get whatever we can out of our game. If stuff outside of us helps us then great but the other teams will be thinking that about our game as well.

“We’ve got one of the toughest games you can have, there’s no doubt about that.

“There’s a lot of thinking you can do outside of your own game and the impact it might have but you’ve still got to go and play the game and whatever happens before and after the biggest determination of the weekend has to be on what we do.

“Anything can happen this weekend and that’s why I think that we’ve got to be careful that you don’t let your mind wander too much into good or negative outcomes. That’s dangerous, we’ve got to just focus on the game.

“We’re in control of our game and performance, decision-making and what we do. All of the other stuff and what we want to achieve and happen is motivation but you have to focus on what achieves your motivation and outcome.

“You’ve got to understand context, of course, and we do but I don’t want the context of ‘what if’s’, good bad or in between that. At the forefront of our mind is what does it take to be at our best because we need to be against Arsenal.”