Steve Cooper has suggested Nottingham Forest being out of the FA Cup could give his side an advantage against Manchester United in the two-legged semi-final of the League Cup, as his players will have the opportunity to be rested.
United will play Forest in the first leg of the semi-final on Wednesday night and the second leg will be played at Old Trafford a week later, but Erik ten Hag’s side have a game against Reading in the FA Cup between those two fixtures.
Reading, who are managed by Paul Ince, will visit Old Trafford on Saturday, 28 January, whereas Cooper will be able to give his Forest players a rest should he wish, as they were knocked out of England’s oldest cup competition at the first hurdle.
Cooper spoke at his pre-match press conference on Monday afternoon and he looked ahead to the two-legged semi-final.
“It’s not been an easy ride for sure to get to the semi-final, and we’ve treated it like every other game, one we want to do well in and win,” he said. “Unfortunately we’re out of the FA Cup, we’re not very proud of that and the way we went about it.
But these two games now fall in a two-week Premier League break. There’s enough recovery and preparation time to be ready for these games, there’s no doubt about that. The two games have actually come at a good time.
“It’s a semi-final, we really want to commit to it, we really want to attack it. Obviously it’s Man United, it’s over two legs, incredibly tough games – but ones we want to have no regrets about. We’re in the semi-final of an important cup.
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