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‘He left the minute Ayew left!’ Ian Holloway aims Swansea City dig at Steve Cooper and says he’s ‘on trial’ at Nottingham Forest

Ian Holloway has seemingly suggested that Steve Cooper shied away from the fight at Swansea City after star player Andre Ayew’s departure was confirmed.

Cooper oversaw his first game as Nottingham Forest boss at the weekend, with the Reds earning a 1-1 draw at home to Millwall.

The 41-year-old was appointed at the City Ground last Tuesday following the dismissal of predecessor Chris Hughton, having left his previous role at Swansea earlier in the summer.

Cooper helped the Swans to two consecutive top-six finishes, including a play-off final appearance at Wembley.

However, the defeat at the hands of Brentford sparked a wave of departures, including star man Ayew.

Ayew was one of the club’s highest earners, and a new deal in the second tier always seemed unlikely.

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Premier League loanees Marc Guehi, Conor Hourihane and Freddie Woodman all followed Ayew out the door, while there was also plenty of speculation around the future of captain Matt Grimes.

Despite interest from Fulham, Grimes stayed in SA1, but Cooper decided to walk away, having held talks over the vacant role at Crystal Palace earlier in the summer.

And former Eagles boss Holloway has now suggested that Cooper’s decision was largely motivated by Ayew’s departure.

Speaking on the EFL on Quest show, Holloway said: “Good luck to him, that’s all I’m saying.

“There is something wrong there, I think Chris Hughton has been a fantastic manager, they have gone through a lot of money and paid a lot of money to certain players and not sorted it out.

“For me, Steve’s had two seasons with an ex-Premier League team with their parachute payments and he left the minute their striker who was on about 70 grand per week (Andre Ayew) left.

“He’s on trial now. He’s picked up this club, they’re in a terrible position, good luck to him.”

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