Learning from Southampton, Chris Cohen passes verdict amid Nathan Jones’ ‘unfair’ media treatment.

The day after Nottingham Forest beat Southampton to secure their only away last season, Chris Cohen relocated his family to the south coast for a fresh start and a new adventure.

He was sacked as Saints assistant manager a month later along with Nathan Jones after a miserable stint on the way to the club’s relegation from the Premier League. It was the former Forest favourite’s first failure in coaching after success with his old club’s Under-21s team and then at Luton with Jones in the Championship.

They were there for just 14 games, winning once in three months as Jones became a figure of hate among supporters after being unwanted from the day he was hired. From the outside looking in it was a disastrous spell, but for Cohen it remains a valuable experience seven months later.

“I learned as much in those months about football as I had in the 20 years prior. I’ve been really fortunate that I’ve been really successful at Luton. We had the us against the world mentality, overachieving and creating an amazing environment. At Southampton maybe it was a bit different,” he told the latest Garibaldi Red podcast.

“They were used to the Premier League and had everything. They had lots of staff, they had everything you could ever want. Ultimately it was an unsuccessful time that made me realise even more what we created at Luton and realise that it’s not just the playing side, but the way the club was run and the people that worked there. Knowing we can create that anywhere is important.

“Knowing you don’t need 60 or 70 staff – and they weren’t bad staff, we met lots of nice people who were good at what they do, but the volume of people made it tough for us to find anyone that was accountable. We want people with us willing to put their head above the parapet and say ‘I think we should do this’ and not afraid to be wrong.

“It was quite easy to stay out the way with so many people. With that many people, there were times when me, Nathan and Alan (coach Alan Sheehan) felt very alone, which I know is ironic given there was maybe 100 staff at the training ground compared to about 15 at Luton where we felt the most welcomed people in the world.

“I’ve got no regrets at all. Graham Potter is the only manager I can think of who got a shot at the Premier League from a Championship club.

“Most times you need a promotion, to take a team up to get that chance. Ultimately, I don’t want it to sound like I’m blaming others because we didn’t win games of football. I know we were capable of doing that because we’d done it for two and a half years at Luton. We weren’t able to implement our style well enough to win games, or moments in games.

“Ultimately the responsibility was ours. There were lots of surprises. The scrutiny of the Premier League from the press blew us away, but if we win games the players should get the credit and if we lose, then the staff take the repercussions. That’s how it panned out.”

Jones did not hold back in the media and his highly quotable comments saw him mocked online. Cohen felt Jones was treated unfairly and will have to change his approach to interviews when he is next in work.

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Luton play-off winner in limbo after being left out of Nottingham Forest’s 25-man squad


Luton play-off winner Ethan Horvath faces an uncertain future after the goalkeeper wasn’t included in Nottingham Forest’s 25-man Premier League squad this week.

The 28-year-old had moved to Kenilworth Road on loan last summer under previous manager Nathan Jones, going on to play 51 matches in all competitions and was between the posts at Wembley as Town beat Coventry City 6-5 on penalties to reach the Premier League.

Luton play-off winner Ethan Horvath faces an uncertain future after the goalkeeper wasn’t included in Nottingham Forest’s 25-man Premier League squad this week.

The 28-year-old had moved to Kenilworth Road on loan last summer under previous manager Nathan Jones, going on to play 51 matches in all competitions and was between the posts at Wembley as Town beat Coventry City 6-5 on penalties to reach the Premier League.

However boss Rob Edwards opted against going through with that, stating he wanted to go in a ‘different direction’, eventually bringing in both Thomas Kaminski and Tim Krul during the recent transfer window.

Back at the City Ground, Horvath featured heavily in the Reds warm up matches, but ahead of the season, boss Steve Cooper signed his fellow countryman Matt Turner from Arsenal, who has gone in as number one, plus Greek international Odysseas Vlachodimos from Benfica on deadline day, with both keepers named in the squad.

They are joined by a third stopper, experienced Wales international Wayne Hennessey, leaving Horvath out in the cold, unable to secure a move away, while his non-selection means he can’t play for Forest either, unless they decide to alter their plans in January.

The keeper, who was back in the USA team for the 4-0 friendly win over Oman on Wednesday night, winning his ninth cap and first for well over a year, had signed for the Reds from Belgian side Club Brugge in July 2021.

Horvath, who has also played in Norway for Molde, has featured just 11 times for the Reds, including the final minutes as Forest won the 2022 Championship play-off final at Wembley as well.

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