Chris Cohen is not breathing down Martin O’Neill’s neck just yet, but he does have eyes on the top job at Nottingham Forest.

Given that he is just 12 months out from hanging up his boots, it is a bit early to be backing a former captain for the City Ground hot-seat.

He has, however, made a move into coaching circles.

A role within the Reds’ academy system has allowed him to cut his teeth and start climbing the ladder.

Cohen intends to reach the highest rung, with there plenty who boast less experience than him that have been handed managerial reins down the years.

The 32-year-old hopes that he will get the call one day.

He is not about to rush that process, though, with there a desire on the part of a man whose playing career was cut short by injury to learn his trade rather than jump in at the deep end.

Patient

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Cohen has said in the Nottingham Post: “I don’t mind being patient. I have not got a five-year plan. I just want to work as hard as I can and learn as quickly as I can.

“I just want to be ready, eventually, for that chance.

“Whether that means me going away [from Forest] and perhaps one day coming back, I don’t know. That might be the pathway I would have to take. I am open to doing that.”

It is safe to assume that Cohen would be welcomed back with open arms.

Having spent 11 years with the club as a player, taking in over 300 appearances, his place in the ‘legend’ category is safely secured.

The man currently at the helm fills a similar bracket.

It does, however, remain to be seen how long he will be occupying his post for.

The hope is that O’Neill will prove, in his first full season at the helm, that he was a shrewd appointment and his contract will be extended to oversee Premier League football.

Contention

 

When the day comes to walk away, though, then it could be that Cohen comes into contention.

He is currently working with the U23s and is looking to take as many lessons as possible from those around him.

Cohen added in the Post: “I am loving it, I definitely want to keep doing what I am doing for the next couple of years, then perhaps see where I am. I want to be ready for that [management]. But I am not sure that you ever really are ready.

“I am very fortunate to be learning from Gary [Brazil], learning from Jimmy [Gilligan], Martin and Roy [Keane]. They have been brilliant in terms of coming to our games and sharing their knowledge.

“I am really looking forward to working with them. Hopefully with Martin that will be for the next couple of years.”

A couple of years may be enough time for Cohen to acquire the knowledge he needs to step into a senior dugout.

He is not about to fill O’Neill’s shoes just yet, but said footwear may be inherited in the not too distant future.

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