Hatters coach points to decisions from boss Jones and a goalless first half as crucial to Town's win at Forest

Cohen discusses Luton's midweek victory at his former club

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 2:25 pm
Luton managed to keep out a Forest forward-line containing former Premier League striker Glenn Murray last night
Luton managed to keep out a Forest forward-line containing former Premier League striker Glenn Murray last night

Luton first team coach Chris Cohen highlighted the decisions made by manager Nathan Jones after the Hatters earned their sixth away victory of the season, all by a single goal margin, when beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 at the City Ground last night.

The visitors, as they have done so in five of their six triumphs on the road, kept the scores goalless until the hour mark, before netting what turned out to be the winner, as Ryan Tunnicliffe stretched to divert Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu's cross into the roof of the net.

Cohen said: “If you look at the type of performances throughout the season in terms of how we set up, to come to Nottingham Forest and play four diamond two and really look to go after them, especially in the first 15 minutes of the game, it shows how much we’re growing and where we want to get to.

"We realised towards the end of the first half and the start of the second we might need to change shape and the manager did that brilliantly.

"We changed to a 4-3-3 and the changes worked, so to come here and be brave and bold and then recognise when you need to maybe come off it a little bit, I thought that decisions that the manager made and the way that the players were able to implement them, was a perfect away performance.”

Having been at Forest himself for 11 years as a player, spending another two as U23s chief, Cohen knew that keeping the scores goalless at the break gave them a superb opportunity to claim a first victory at the City Ground since March 1983.

They did so thanks to two good saves by Simon Sluga and some valiant defending by their new-look back-line, as Cohen said: "Without fans here it’s a little bit different, but even from me when I used to be playing here, nil-nil at half time, for a team like Forest against anyone in this division, they expect to be leading.

"So to get to half time was really key for us, as they had a couple of corners, a couple of free kicks towards the end of the first half that we dealt with and when we needed Slugs (Simon Sluga) he was fantastic as well.

"But we also knew that we could play better and that we could hurt them a bit more when in possession if we could just make one or two more passes.

"As the goal shows, Clicker (Jordan Clark) started it off, it was three of four passes and then a brilliant cross from Pell and for Tunni to arrive and ghost in to score like he did was a brilliant goal.

"So getting nil-nil at half time was really important and then second half we played really, really well."

After moving 1-0 in front, the Hatters might have added to their tally, Clark failing to locate the bottom corner by inches after fine work by impressive striker Elijah Adebayo.

Despite the miss, Forest didn’t ever really look like making Town pay, with Sluga only needed to claim one cross and then punch another clear in stoppage time.

Cohen added: "When that goes wide, I’m sure everyone watching felt, 'oh no, the pressure’s going to come now.'

"But I thought in the main we were able to nullify their threat, we were able to keep the ball at times, which is so, so important when you’re 1-0 up, not to just keep clearing it away to them.

"We were able to play through them a little bit and we had a couple of really good chances.

"Their keeper made a couple of mistakes that we almost countered on, but I thought second half we deserved the win.

"First half they were potentially a little bit better than us, but overall away from home, a really, really good performance.”