Cohen delighted to be back in old Davies routine at Nottingham Forest
FOR Chris Cohen, the return of Billy Davies is hardly unfamiliar territory. But, while the midfielder has already quickly settled back into life under his former manager, he insists there are crucial differences this time around.
The Scotsman's simple, but demanding approach, says Cohen, remains exactly the same. But the situation Davies has inherited is significantly altered.
One of the most frequent laments of Davies' previous City Ground tenure was over his frustration surrounding player contracts, with key figures at the club allowed to see their deals run down.
Assets like Kelvin Wilson and Nathan Tyson were allowed to walk away for nothing, when their deals expired. While, since Davies' departure, key figures from the side he built, such as Luke Chambers and Wes Morgan, were allowed to see their contracts run into their final year.
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This time around, Davies has inherited a situation where players like Cohen, Dexter Blackstock and Radi Majewski have not only had their futures secured – but have seen them tied down for the long term, with lengthy new deals.
And Cohen believes that is significant, saying: "It takes away the uncertainty, having so many players under contract. The owners have said all along that they are not going to let good players run out of contract and they have stuck to their word.
"Dexter got a four-and-a-half year contract and myself and Radi got three-and-a-half. I don't know if that is because they think Dexter is better than us . . . But seriously, I am very happy to be tied down to a long-term contract.
"We are very lucky to play for a club like Nottingham Forest. I have had six or seven years here, by the time this contract comes to an end, I will have been here for nine or so.
"I am very lucky to have been part of such a great place for such a long time. Last time he was here the manager must have done countless interviews with you talking about how he wanted players tied down to long contracts.
"The old chairman was brilliant for this club over the years. He will always be remembered here for that and it is great that the academy is here in his memory. But he had a different way of doing things, when it came to contracts, in contrast to the new owners."
And Cohen believes that having a core of players who are committed to the club will be a bonus for the returning boss.
"It does make it easier for the manager to know that players are going to be at the club for the foreseeable future and not just for the next few months," he said. "We do have a few loan players who will perhaps be tied down in the future. The manager might also want to add to what he has got as well.
"But, if you have a core of players who are here for the long-term, you all have one goal; you all share the one thing you are aiming for. You are not worried about your own future."
Cohen is delighted to see Davies return to the club, having been an integral part of the squad that twice secured top-six finishes in the Championship.
"Billy makes things as easy as possible for the players. He tells you exactly what he wants; what he demands of you," he said. "If you produce it, he will applaud you, but if you don't, he will want to know why you haven't.
"He is as straight as they come, There are no grey areas, it is clear in black and white what he wants and what he expects. That is all players want. Recently, several managers have been blamed for our performances. But, as a team and as individuals, we have not been good enough.
"As much as you blame the manager, it is down to the players to go out there and perform. We have not been doing that in recent weeks. But, under Billy it is easy.
"He tells you everything he wants, right down to the very minor details. He asks you to do a job for him and we all try to do it."
Cohen says Davies has not changed during the 18 months or so he has been away from the club.
"He has a winning formula, he has his way of doing things," he said. "It has worked for him consistently during his career, so why would you change something that is not broken?
"We were a winning side when he was here before
"Everyone is very pleased to have him back. He has been brilliant. It helps that so many of us know how he works.
"We can get straight into the way he wants to play and the others can quickly join us in that."