Newcastle United told Alexander Isak’s goal shouldn’t have stood v Nottingham Forest

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The Nottingham Forest manager provided his assessment on his side’s late defeat to Newcastle United.

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper believes Alexander Isak’s equaliser shouldn’t have stood - but refused to use that as an excuse for his side’s 2-1 defeat.

The Reds took the lead at the City Ground in the 26th minute when Emmanuel Dennis capitalised on Sven Botman’s mistake before Isak levelled on the brink of half-time.

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Isak volleyed home from Joe Willock’s cross but Forest were adamant the United midfielder fouled Andre Ayew in the build-up.

The Sweden international then stepped up in second half stoppage time to convert from the penalty spot following Moussa Niakhate’s handball.

Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Really frustrated to lose,” said Cooper. “It was a difficult game. The main talking points for me is we didn’t manage ourselves around the two goals. The timings of the goals are moments in the game where you have to see it out.

“For us to make those decisions in the build-up ourselves is something you get punished for at this level. I won’t dwell on it too much - it’s a foul on Andre [Ayew] in the build-up. The referee has made a poor decision, but so have we.

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“The handball is something we can’t argue with, and we’re punished with the penalty going in.”

Isak’s winner came in the 93rd minute to ensure Newcastle weren’t punished for Elliot Anderson’s controversially ruled out goal for offside.

Eddie Howe’s side moved to within one point of fourth place Tottenham Hotspur, while Forest remain just two points above the Premier League relegation zone.

“The overriding feeling at the moment is disappointment because of the result and how we’ve, I wouldn’t say gifted Newcastle the goals, but we haven’t covered ourselves in glory,” Cooper added.

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AFP via Getty Images

“That’s what I’m annoyed with, not opponents moaning or referee decision, although maybe that’s maybe contribution. We’re in a situation where we need to focus on ourselves.

“They’re a good team. They’re in the league position they’re in for a reason. They play with a lot of confidence. Sometimes they can try and play through you, or put balls down the side of you and I respect that a lot.

“On the whole, I thought we [defend well]. It’s the worse way to lose, isn’t it? Giving away a penalty in the dying moments and it being the decisive goal.

“We would have taken a point because of the way the game was and who we were playing but it wasn’t to be.”

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