Fighting for his life on the left
CHRIS Cohen is spurred on by the fight to make the left-back spot his own at Nottingham Forest.
The midfielder has flourished since initially filling in for Dan Harding when the summer signing picked up an injury.
Cohen has subsequently played every game of the Billy Davies tenure on the left of defence – and has played an integral role in their rise up the Championship table.
But the former West Ham and Yeovil man says the knowledge Harding is ready and waiting to take his spot in the side is the biggest driving force when it comes to maintaining his performance levels.
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"For now, I have made the left-back spot my own, but Dan Harding has been injured," said Cohen. "And he has done well there this season.
"The manager knows I have played there before and he has chosen to go with me, which has been difficult for Dan.
"But he knows – and I am sure the manager has told him – that if he trains well and shows he deserves a place in the team, he will find himself back in.
"It is difficult for him at the moment. But I am enjoying playing there and also enjoying having the motivation of knowing that, if I do not do well, there is a quality left-back waiting to come in.
"I know I have to perform well every week if I want to hold on to my place in the side."
Cohen believes the entire squad will have a part to play in the promotion run-in, particularly after seeing Lewis McGugan twice score after coming off the bench.
"Lewis has the ability to do that, he can come off the bench and give you that," said Cohen. "We also have Billy Sharp who can do that. He is an amazing player, but he has not been able to get a chance.
"Jonathan Greening also came on and did really well for us too. It has been tough for some players to get into the team, because players are doing well all through the side.
"Until that changes, some players will have to wait for their chance.
"But it has not effected morale. Everyone is training hard, everyone wants to earn an opportunity."
Forest remain sixth and in the Championship play-off places after seventh-placed Brighton failed to win their game in hand, losing 2-1 at Barnsley last night.