Monday May 15, 2023. 13:00
Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper is hopeful that Taiwo Awoniyi can continue delivering the goods in the final two games of the season to aid their survival bid.
The Nigeria international has enjoyed a promising debut season at the City Ground following his return to the Premier League in July 2022 from Union Berlin.
Awoniyi salvaged a valuable point for the Reds at Chelsea on Saturday with his brace earning them a 2-2 draw, having also scored twice against Southampton six days earlier to help set up a 4-3 victory.
The 25-year-old striker took his tally for the campaign to eight goals from 25 league appearances, although it could well have been more had a groin injury not ruled him out for nine games at the start of the year.
Forest are three points clear of the relegation zone in 16th place and Cooper has challenged the former Liverpool man to keep aiding their cause against Arsenal and Crystal Palace.
“You always want your striker to be scoring goals, and he’s got more than a few this week,” Cooper was quoted as saying by the Nottingham Post.
“He’s missed most of the second part of the season, and he got injured at a time when he was doing what he did today. Although he’s got his goals in the last two games since he’s come back he’s played really well.
“But obviously, you want your number nine to be scoring goals. We’ve been really happy with T [Awoniyi]. He showed a great attitude and commitment to getting back in the way he did.
“He hit the ground running as soon as we got him back on the pitch. Now he’s turning good performances into good performances with goals. That’s what you want and what you need from your strikers. Let’s hope he can carry on in the next two games.”