CAPTAIN COHEN’S JUST FANTASTIC
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.”
MATCH-WINNER: Henri Lansbury celebrates his goal
CHALLENGE: Peter Clarke, left, vies with Darius Henderson