Nottingham Forest Under 21s coach Jimmy Gilligan says Chris Cohen ‘showed his true colours’ in his first appearance back from injury.
Cohen played the first 45 minutes of Forest’s defeat at Barnsley and Gilligan, who has taken over the management of the Under 21s following the appointment of Paul Williams as the club’s first-team assistant coach, was delighted with what he saw from the midfielder.
Gilligan told nottinghamforest.co.uk: “It was his first 45 minutes on a heavy pitch and in poor conditions – but I’ve got to say the Chris Cohen everybody knows and loves showed his true colours.
“He showed energy and a real willingness to get on the ball and play. He was a shining example for the younger players in the group.
“He sat quietly in the stand in the second half watching the game and I asked him to have a chat with one or two of the younger players afterwards.
“I would think he’s totally buzzing about having the first 45 minutes out of the way and now he can move on to getting more.”
Gilligan is relishing the prospect of working with the Under 21s once again after a spell of coaching the first team.
He said: “There is massive positivity. It’s a group of players I like and an age group I enjoy working with. I enjoy trying to help players develop in their careers.
“We’ll be using some of the drills the gaffer does so we can send players into the first-team group who are ready to train to the standards he expects.
“For me, that’s the most important thing. While I want to win every game, the ultimate aim is to get these players on the pitch for the first team.”
The Under 21s are next in action away at Coventry City on Tuesday 5 January (kick-off 1pm).