Nottingham Forest blog: You cannot underestimate the injury to Chris Cohen


Three wins in 23 games is hardly the form Forest fans had anticipated when they sat top of the Championship in September.

In truth the squad is the same minus the influential figures of Chris Cohen and Andy Reid who are both long-term injury casualties.

The current stand-in skipper Jack Hobbs was also missing for around 20 games with a recurrent ankle injury.

Mr Nottingham Forest Chris Cohen really is a massive figure for the club and it is a huge shame that he has suffered three knee ligament injuries in quick succession.

Had Cohen stayed fit I have no doubt at all that we wouldn’t even be sat talking about where the club goes next after such a poor run – he really does have that presence on the first team squad.

Not only that but he is a very good left-back and easily the best at the club which says something considering he earned himself the move to the City Ground back in 2007 after performing incredibly well as a central midfielder for Yeovil Town.

All associated with the Reds will hope that when Cohen is fit again at the start of next season he can stay healthy and lead the club forward.

It appears that boss Stuart Pearce has come under scrutiny for, amongst other things, his tactics.

The former England U-21 boss is a big fan of employing a 4-5-1 formation which is not too unfamiliar in the world of modern day football.

The fact we have had injuries to Matty Fryatt and Dexter Blackstock have meant that Pearce has been forced into deploying this tactic rather than doing so by choice a large proportion of the time.

The one thing I will say is that the tactic could be so much more effective if it was Henri Lansbury who was playing as the man in the number 10 role behind Britt Assombalonga, leaving Robert Tesche to marshal the back four, rather than the other way around which, for some strange reason is what the manager prefers to do.

Henri Lansbury scored two good goals against Fulham and we quite simply have to get him in areas to score more frequently. When he plays in front of the back-four his star qualities are wasted and more often than not he picks up unnecessary cautions.

Forest’s next four fixtures are crucial. Not just in the context of the season as that is pretty much done and dusted now, but more for the manager’s short term future.

Another setback at the hands of Fulham so soon after the euphoria of beating Derby has put the manager back into the pressure cooker.

The club’s next four matches see Millwall and Wigan visit Trentside along with two away trips to rejuvenated Brighton and rock-bottom Blackpool.

I honestly think the Reds can use the next four games as a mini-season to try and get some points on the board and reinstate some much needed confidence back into the players.

If we can somehow win three of our next four fixtures it will certainly ease some of the pressure on Pearce and hopefully give us a lift going into the last 15 or so matches.