I don’t know how he has done it – Steve Cooper in awe of Roy Hodgson’s longevity
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper is at a loss as to how Roy Hodgson has been able to navigate a near 50-year career in management.
Cooper comes up against the former England manager on Sunday as Forest close their Premier League season with a trip to Crystal Palace.
The pair were colleagues together at the Football Association as Cooper was in charge of the England Under-16s and 17s while Hodgson was the senior team boss.
And Cooper is full of admiration for his 75-year-old counterpart.
He said: “We have got to play Crystal Palace. We really want to end well. It’s not under the scrutiny of last week, (but) we should want to win every game that we play and Palace are going really well.
“What a job Roy Hodgson has done, an incredible man and an incredible career. Having done management for a couple of years to think of the longevity he has had is just something I have got so much admiration for.
“I don’t know how he has done it. I have got a huge amount of respect for him.”
Forest travel to Selhurst Park knowing their top-flight status is secure following last weekend’s win over Arsenal.
The City Ground club prepared for this season in haphazard fashion with a flurry of signings and Cooper says Forest need a “productive” off-season.
“What we do know now from this season is what it takes to compete at this level. We’ve got to maximise the opportunity we’ve given ourselves by staying in the league to improve,” Cooper said.
“June is a really important month for that.
“For me, as the days have gone by, it’s turned into motivation about how we have to improve. After Sunday, we need to have a really productive off-season.
“The players will rest and a lot of the staff around the players will rest, and rightly so, they need to do that. But we need to be busy in the off-season in really trying to continue to improve the club to what we want it to be, and that’s being able to really operate at a high standard in the Premier League.”