The Reds will fall under new management in the summer, with City Ground legend Pearce having agreed to become the long-term successor to the ousted Billy Davies.
A change in the dugout means a fresh start for all concerned - with the playing staff offered a chance to impress, while the coaches will decide what, if any, changes need to be made.
Cohen is determined to prove that he is worth keeping on, with the versatile 27-year-old having been sidelined since November with the second serious knee injury of his career.
He told the Evening Post on his hopes for the future under Pearce: "Hopefully I will be in his plans and he will want me to be part of his team. That is the first part. We all start with a clean slate.
"We all have to prove ourselves again, that is the thing with a new manager.
"He will not rely on the fact that we have done good things in the past, we will have to prove to him that we are ready and able to contribute.
"I have had two new knees so I have to prove to him that I am good enough to play at this level, within his team.
"That will be the first thing I have to do."
Pearce's imminent arrival on Trentside has Forest buzzing again, and Cohen admits the players are just as excited to be welcoming a former favourite back to coaching circles.
He added on the former Manchester City and England U21 manager: "Just listening to his interviews, he looks as though he wants to help everyone out.
"As soon as he walks through the door, everyone will have respect for him because of what he has achieved in the game. That is a great starting point for him.
"He has had a good managerial record as well. He did a great job with the U21s. I know a few players who played under him there.
"Henri (Lansbury) played under him and there were one or two others as well. They all spoke very highly of him.
"Everyone at the club is very excited about learning from him. Hopefully he can improve us as a team and a squad."