Hatters up for the tough challenge of breaking down a miserly Forest side at the City Ground

Town have struggled for goals on the road this season

By Mike Simmonds
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 3:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 4:00 pm
Town first team coach Chris Cohen
Town first team coach Chris Cohen

Luton first team coach Chris Cohen appreciates it will be a tough ask for his side to end their goalscoring troubles on the road at a miserly Nottingham Forest side this evening.

The Hatters, who have managed to find the net just seven times in 16 league games away from Kenilworth Road this season, including a mere three in their last 10 matches, go up against team who have kept three clean sheets in a row on home soil, conceding conceded just three in their last eight matches at the City Ground, with six shut-outs.

It is no surprise with the Reds now managed by the defensively excellent former Brighton and Newcastle boss Chris Hughton as ahead of the game, Cohen, a former Reds midfielder, said: “If you look back through the years at teams that have got out of the Championship, or most of the successful teams, they are built on being really hard to beat and not conceding many goals and then obviously having attacking prowess that can win you tight games of football.

“That’s what Chris has got. The way he’s set up with players at Brighton, Newcastle, Norwich, he understands the league and what you need to start with.

“That’s a solid foundation and then, if you look at his teams, they start to score more goals and then inevitably they end up being at the top of the league once he’s been given time.

“It’s going to be tough because, when we’ve watched the games, he’s got them working so very well out of possession.

"You can see why they not only don’t concede many goals, but don’t concede many opportunities.

“We know we need to be at our best, like we were in the second half (of Saturday’s 3-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday).

“It will be a real tough test against a manager that’s proven at this level and beyond.”

“But, as we’ve shown, if you playing with an energy and a purpose and you go after teams at the right time, then we can cause anyone in the league a problem and hopefully we can do that.”

Town managed to hit back and score three goals in a half for the first time this season against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday when reverting to their diamond formation.

Although it sparkled in that second 45 minutes, on whether it will be on display again this evening, Cohen added: "The success that the football club’s had over the last three or four years, playing that formation, has obviously been clear for everyone to see.

"Now, would we love to get to a point where we could always play a diamond, and playing exactly as we did in League Two and League One? Of course.

“At times it’s not right. This division’s different to League One and League Two, in terms of how other teams set up and how they can hurt that formation.

“We have to pick the right team and the right formation for each individual game, and that’s where we’re at in this division at the moment.

"So far it’s been a solid season in terms of us doing that.

“I love the diamond, we used to play that in the (Forest) Under-23s and I know Nathan always wanted to play that, even prior to coming to Luton.

"I know Harty (Paul Hart) and Mick (Harford) have been big advocates over the years as well.

“A diamond is a formation we all love but it has to be right for the game that we’re playing and the personnel that we’ve got.

“It worked brilliantly on Saturday. Does that mean we’re going to play it again on Tuesday night? We’ll have to wait and see.

"But it’s nice to have it in the armoury, which probably we haven’t had this season, in terms of going to it and it being a real success."