Such has been Forest’s form that it came as a surprise when bookmakers made them clear outsiders to extend their unbeaten record to nine games at the Riverside Stadium.
However, the East Midlands outfit were well beaten by Boro, Cooper posting just his second defeat in 16 games since his arrival in September.
The level of performance will concern Cooper, but the Forest head coach knows that his squad have shown in the past that they are capable of shaking off a defeat.
Nevertheless, having played more games than several of the teams above them, Thursday’s meeting with Huddersfield is one of high importance, particularly having slipped down to ninth ahead of Wednesday’s games.
On a positive note, the reverse fixture occurred in the days before Cooper’s appointment in September, a team led by caretaker Steven Reid prevailing 2-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
For all of the improvements that Huddersfield have made this season, there is a feeling that their inconsistency may eventually cost them in the race for the top six.
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However, a four-match unbeaten streak, which has featured back-to-back 3-2 victories, has catapulted the club back into contention.
Carlos Corberan would have been disappointed to only draw with Barnsley and Coventry City respectively, but dramatic comeback wins over Bristol City and Blackpool have lifted the mood at the Yorkshire club.
While Sorba Thomas stole the headlines on Boxing Day, Danny Ward netted for the third game in succession, taking his tally for the season to seven strikes