CAP­TAIN CO­HEN’S JUST FAN­TAS­TIC

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/ By Ian Baker

FOR­EST man­ager Billy Davies high­lighted new cap­tain Chris Co­hen’s mas­ter­ful per­for­mance, which helped them sneak a nar­row open­ing-day win over Hud­der­s­field.

The left-back had been given the arm­band in pref­er­ence to Danny Collins and rewarded his boss with an out­stand­ing dis­play at both ends of the pitch.

It was fit­ting that Co­hen laid on the win­ner for Henri Lans­bury on 52 min­utes with a surg­ing run and cross – and the for­mer Arse­nal mid­fielder could not miss.

“It was an in­spired per­for­mance by Chris. It was a tremen­dous run and a ter­rific per­for­mance,” said Davies.

“He leads by an ex­am­ple and is a fan­tas­tic cap­tain.

“I thought you have to give credit to the away team.

“They were very or­gan­ised and made life very dif­fi­cult. The open­ing fix­ture is al­ways dif­fi­cult and it is a real lev­eller.

“A clean sheet pleased me and I thought our back five were fan­tas­tic. The at­ti­tude was su­perb. There is a lot of fit­ness to do.

“We will get bet­ter, no doubt, but I’m pleased with the clean sheet and the three points.”

For­est played a 4-3-3 sys­tem with Jamie Mackie, Matt Der­byshire and Si­mon Cox in at­tack.

It worked only in patches and they were up against a Ter­ri­ers side that bat­tled hard.

Nei­ther goal­keeper had a save to make in the first half, but it was Hud­der­s­field who could have taken a sur­prise lead within sec­onds of the restart when Karl Dar­low spec­tac­u­larly de­nied James Vaughan.

That pressed For­est into ac­tion and they grad­u­ally raised the tempo, be­fore Lans­bury net­ted his de­ci­sive goal.

But Hud­der­s­field were still in with a shout and Vaughan missed a great chance, head­ing wide from Paul Dixon’s cross.

For­est could have sealed things late in the game, with sub­sti­tute Ish­mael Miller go­ing close from Andy Reid’s cor­ner.

Davies later re­vealed he is pre­pared to give Der­byshire and Miller a chance.

He also in­di­cated Cox has a back prob­lem and Mackie was slightly rusty fol­low­ing his move from QPR. “There’s work to do,” he said. “We had to take off Cox be­cause of a back in­jec­tion and Mackie’s not played a lot of football.

“We’ve still got peo­ple to get fit. I have no axe to grind with Miller or Der­byshire.

“The door’s wide open and it’s up to them. They will get a whole new lease of life.”

Hud­der­s­field man­ager Mark Robins was happy with his side’s ef­forts and put this de­feat into con­text af­ter watch­ing them de­feated 6-1 in his first league game last sea­son.

“It was a bet­ter ef­fort than in Fe­bru­ary,” he said. “We lost the game on a lapse of con­cen­tra­tion and be­cause of Chris Co­hen.

“We were or­gan­ised but gave the ball away too eas­ily in the sec­ond half.

“Over­all, it is some­thing to build on.

“It was a poor goal to con­cede as we had de­fended well.You can look at that but there were a lot of good points to the game.

“Hogg was bril­liant and kept us go­ing. They have got play­ers who are go­ing to try and hurt you.

“We weren’t bad but there is plenty to be happy with.

“We were OK and there is a lot to work with, but we needed to have won the game be­fore they scored.

“There won’t be many teams that come here and get any­thing as they have a lot of very good play­ers.

“But there were pos­i­tives – we worked our socks off against a very good side.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MATCH-WIN­NER: Henri Lans­bury cel­e­brates his goal

CHAL­LENGE: Peter Clarke, left, vies with Dar­ius Hen­der­son

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