Karl Darlow can be a Nottingham Forest great, says Cohen
KARL Darlow can step out of Lee Camp's shadow and become Nottingham Forest's first-choice keeper for years to come.
That was the message today from Chris Cohen, who says Darlow has possessed the quality to play in the Championship for two or three years.
The midfielder says the youngster has only had his progress stymied by finding himself down the pecking order behind one of the best keeper's outside of the top flight.
Darlow, 22, has impressed in his first two league starts for the Reds, helping Alex McLeish to secure his first win against Peterborough, before surviving the intense atmosphere of the East Midlands derby with a point from Pride Park on Saturday.
McLeish had hoped to bring in an experienced keeper as a replacement for Camp, after telling the former Derby and QPR player that he has no future at the City Ground.
But he saw enough of Darlow to believe he deserves a chance to shine – and Cohen has even more confidence in his team-mate, insisting: "Karl can be the Campy of the future for us.
"If you had seen him in training for the last six months, you would see his quality.
"Certainly every new player who has come in this season has been asking who this lad is, when they have come up against him in training.
"We have known about his quality even before he has been playing. He has just been unlucky that he had Campy in front of him. I am sure he can shine now and prove that he can be a Campy of the future.
"He has been fantastic in training for two or three years.
"Unfortunately, he has had one of the best keepers in the Championship in front of him.
"Campy was never the sort to miss a game, to get injured or sent off. So Karl never had an opportunity."
Cohen says Forest players are confident in Darlow's ability to step into the void left by Camp's impending departure.
"Everything he does looks calm. If you did not know what the circumstances were or who he was, you would think he had played hundreds of games," said Cohen.
"He looks very assured, his kicking is great. He has all the attributes to be a top keeper, I think.
"He is like Campy – and that is a compliment – because he comes for crosses, he is commanding, he is a good shot stopper. I hope he can continue the way he has played so far.
"For me, if they do bring in a keeper, fair enough. But they have somebody in Karl who can be a number one for some time.
"It is a learning curve for him. He will make mistakes and he will do things he shouldn't. He has to learn about playing in front of a big crowd.
"But he has had a good mentor in Camp. You see the same strength of character in Karl. He also has that same slight arrogance about him, which keepers need.
"Hopefully he can be here for a long time and be Forest's number one for a long time."
Darlow's mentor at Forest on why the youngster can shine – Pages 34-35