Hatters coach not thinking about becoming a manager just yet

Former Forest midfielder relishing his new role at Kenilworth Road

Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:28 pm
Updated Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:30 pm
Luton first team coach Chris Cohen and assistant manager Mick Harford
Luton first team coach Chris Cohen and assistant manager Mick Harford

Town first team coach Chris Cohen wants to make his mark as one of the Hatters backroom staff before considering taking the jump into first team management himself

The 33-year-old moved to Kenilworth Road in October from Nottingham Forest where he was in charge of the U23s to satisfy an urge to work in a first team environment.

Having now spent five months doing just that, when asked if he harboured ambitions to be a manager in his own right one day, Cohen said: “I love being a first-team coach.

"I’ve got to be honest, I see the pressure Nathan (Jones) is under, so I can’t imagine how tough it is being the manager.

“Eventually some day but at the minute I want to be the best first-team coach I can be and who knows in the future what may happen?

“But at the minute, I absolutely love my role.

"The football club has been amazing to me in terms of looking after me and anything they can do to help and it is a wonderful football club.

"I knew that before from visiting and speaking to Nathan but seeing it day in, day out, has really blown my mind just in terms of how much people want to help you which is not always a given in football.”

Cohen has joined a backroom staff at Kenilworth Road that boasts a wealth of experience, with Mick Harford now assistant boss, while Paul Hart, himself a former manager of Nottingham Forest and Leeds United to name just two, as first team coach.

The ex-Reds midfielder was thrilled to be working with two heavyweights of the game, as he continued: "They are brilliant.

"I have been so lucky since I started coaching, I had Gary Brazil and Jimmy Gilligan at Forest, who had about 70 years of coaching between them and Mick and Harty have probably got about the same amount of years as well.

"So, to be able to just sit in a room with them every day and learn a lesson from the dynamic as a coaching group is really good.

"We’ve got hopefully a bit of youth from me, and then we’ve got the experience of Harty, Mick and the gaffer who I get to learn from everyday but the players most importantly get to learn from every day."

Cohen has also been impressed with how the Hatters have gone about competing in a division where they have easily one of the lowest budgets.

After staying up on the final day last term, Town look set for a much better finish this term, as they are 12 points clear of the drop zone with 12 games to go.

The coach said: “Sometimes the best thing that can happen to you is to not have the option to just spend £50,000 a week on a player.

"Nottingham Forest have done that, but teams in the Championship are able to spend £5million, £6million or £10million on player.

“So, you do have to think outside the box and little bit and be a bit creative.

"Since I came in to meet Gary (Sweet) and speak about coming in permanently, I’ve been really heartened to see how forward-thinking they are.

“They’re not thinking about just this year, they’re thinking about next year and the year after, within reason, because it’s a real tough league full of teams with really good players."

With Luton on 44 points and having already taken three out of six in March, Cohen doesn't have an end goal in mind, as he and the players are just focusing on the immediate future.

He added: "The boys take it month to month in terms of their points targets and we take it from game to game.

“We got eight points in February and we’re looking to pick up as many points as we can in March and then have a look at it.

“At this moment in time, we’re in a really strong position in mid-table, but that can change either way.

"We’ve got to make sure that we’re pushing and looking upwards, and not getting sucked into anything that we really don’t deserve to be.

“If you look over the course of the season, I don’t think we’ve got more points than we deserved, I think we’ve probably got less.

"I know a lot of teams say that but, hopefully we’re pretty honest about that.

“When we’ve been beaten, we’ve been well beaten at times.

"But points that we picked up at home, Birmingham, then we probably deserved four or five points more, which would’ve put us in a brilliant position.

“Hopefully, we keep playing the way we’re playing, pick up enough points to get to the end of the season, and then go and have a great year next year as well."