Nottingham Forest sack Chris Hughton and target Steve Cooper as replacement

Steve Cooper is the leading candidate to replace Chris Hughton at Nottingham Forest after the latter’s sacking on Thursday.

The former Swansea head coach fits the profile Forest are looking for because of his track record of working with and improving young players at Swansea and while working with age-group teams at the Football Association. Cooper took Swansea to the Championship play-off final last season before leaving the club during the summer.

Hughton was dismissed after Wednesday’s 2-0 home defeat by Middlesbrough, a result that leaves Forest bottom of the table with one point from their opening seven matches. The search for his replacement was under way before that reverse.

Cooper is not the only candidate being considered for the role. Chris Wilder’s representatives are understood to have made contact with Forest to express an interest in the job in recent months but the club do not see the former Sheffield United manager as a viable option.

Steven Reid will take interim charge of the Forest first team until a permanent replacement is found. He is the 21st appointment in the past decade.

In a statement, Forest said: “The club would like to place on record its appreciation for Chris’s efforts. Chris joined the club in a difficult period for everyone in football and around the world and we thank him for the way he has conducted himself during his tenure.”

Forest’s next match is away against sixth-placed Huddersfield on Saturday – they were knocked out of the EFL Cup after a 4-0 defeat by Wolves last month.