Nottingham Forest midfielder Chris Cohen says competition for places is ‘extremely high’ ahead of tonight’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.Philippe Montanier has used 22 different players over the first two matches of the campaign and Cohen says the fight for a spot in the starting line-up only means good things for the squad.
He said: “The manager has said everyone will get their chance and when we play games in training you’d struggle to pick a starting line-up. There’s lots of competition for places and that’s what you need if you’re going to get through a long and arduous season.
“It means you never take anything for granted. The players in the team will know there’s someone snapping at their heels to take their place. But it’s a friendly rivalry and we all have a joke about it when the team who isn’t playing beats the team who is in training. We’re all professional and we know that if we wait our turn then we’ll all get a chance to play during the season.
“It’s going to be highly competitive and it will be tough to get a run in the team. That only makes you try to better every day and everyone is giving their all to try and get into the side. We’ve still got players to come back from injury like Dani Pinillos and Matty Fryatt and that will only add to the competition.
“The most important thing is that we all stick together and fight for each other. Whether it’s Kasami, Lansbury, Grant, myself or anyone else playing, we need to make sure we’re doing the best we can to help each other do well.”
Forest have a tough test awaiting them at the Amex Stadium this evening but Cohen believes the squad are in a good place to try and upset the odds and make it three wins from three.
He said: “It’ll probably be the first game where we won’t dominate possession. We know they’ll come out and play 4-4-2 and have a right good go at us. But we have to stand up to that and we’ve got some fantastic players who can cause them problems. The manager has made sure we know what to do to try and come away with the three points.
“We showed in spells last season what we were capable of and that was with a small squad. This year we’ve got strength in depth in every position and we’ve got players back fit which only makes us stronger. We’ll all get chances but we need to show the manager we’re capable of beating teams like Brighton.
“Everyone is getting used to the routine and it’s settling down now. The foreign boys who have come in have guided us in the way they’re used to things and they’re probably helping us get used to life under a foreign head coach. But the way the manager has spoken to us as a team and individually, he comes across very well and everyone enjoys playing for him.
“The manager has different tricks up his sleeve in terms of the way he wants us to play and that might surprise teams in the Championship. It’s been a long time since we won 4-3 at home so hopefully it’ll be an entertaining season as well as a successful one.”