Steve Cooper has bemoaned the fact that Dean Henderson will be ineligible to play in Nottingham Forest’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
Asked if it was a disappointment, Cooper’s face told a story as he said, “It is, isn’t it? Yeah, it really is.
“Just after seeing the night that he’s had. Dean was obviously excellent in the penalty shootout, but he was really good in normal time as well.
“So yeah, that’s put a bit of a dampener on it that for me to be honest.”
The goalkeeper is on loan from the Red Devils and cannot play against his parent club under FA rules.
Should they choose to, United could waive those rules to allow the Englishman to feature in the cup tie.
“It’s something we will look into the possibility of pursuing,” Cooper said when asked if Forest could make that request of the Red Devils.
“But it’s all just talk at the minute. We haven’t really had a chance to breathe since the game. We’ll pick that up as and when.”
It is highly unlikely that United would accept such a request as doing so would needlessly strengthen their opponents.
Henderson was heroic in the quarterfinal against Wolves, during which he made four saves before saving twice in the penalty shootout.
Forest’s chances would be heavily boosted with their number one between the sticks, particularly given his declaration that he would most like to face Man United at the start of the season.
Those comments after moving to Forest on loan make it unlikely that many around Old Trafford would be keen to do him any favours.
And of course, there would be no logic in giving Cooper’s side any help when United stand so strong a chance of lifting silverware in Erik ten Hag’s maiden campaign.
United overcame Charlton Athletic 3-0 to book their place in the semi-finals, while Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and subsequent penalty shootout win earned them theirs.
The other semi-final ties pits Newcastle United against Southampton, who shocked English football by securing a 2-0 win over Carabao Cup specialists Manchester City.
The Red Devils are now surely favourites to win the competition but must avoid any slipups if they are to secure their first trophy in almost six years.
The Carabao Cup semi-finals will take place the weeks commencing 23 and 30 January, which this stage of the competition a two-legged affair.