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“That’s the result we need,” Cooper

Saturday 14 April 2018
FGR Media

Mark Cooper in the dugout at Cheltenham

Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper was delighted to seethe hard work put in during the week by himself and his backroom team come to fruition this afternoon.

Following last Saturday’s defeat to Barnet, a lot of effort was put in during the build up to today’s derby with Cheltenham to respond immediately.

Christian Doidge ensured that work was rewarded when he struck two minutes before the break at the LCI Rail Stadium but a strong defensive showing from Brad Collins and the back four in front of him ensured that was all that was required to secure the three points.

“I’m delighted with the performance in terms of the spirit and the endeavour,” said Cooper.

“We were incredibly cool under an aerial bombardment.

“After Saturday, a poor performance at Barnet, we planned all week to try and get that real detailed performance.

“The back four were immense.

“Hollis, Rawson and Gunning in front of them headed untold amounts of balls and that’s what you have got to do to win games of football.

“Of course we wanted to play a bit more in the second half to try and get a second goal but when you’re in the position we are in, the nerves kick in, you get anxious, you want to kick the ball as far away from your goal as you can and you forget to play a bit.

“The situation we’re in, we’ll take it.

“I’m sure the Cheltenham fans came here trying to put a nail in our coffin, that’s what it’s all about and we had to stand up to it and we did.

“We keep nicking a result when we need one.”

Cooper made three changes to the side that lost to Barnet and switched formation to a back four and a diamond midfield in front and it worked a treat as Gavin Gunning marshalled the game well in front of the back four, allowing the creative talents of Reece Brown and Chris Clements to flourish.

“We changed the system and played a diamond in midfield and we looked really solid and looked calm and composed when it got a little bit dramatic towards the end,” explained Cooper.

“In my mind I didn’t take a gamble, I know the players and I didn’t take a gamble.

“We needed to have the physicality but we also need to have the guile to be able to create chances.

“In Clements and Reece Brown they gave us that creativity.

“We wanted to play a diamond, we wanted to have more technical players in the middle of the pitch that could try and look after the ball which is how it transpired.”

It was in the 43rd minute when the telling strike from Doidge came.

Brown’s slide-rule pass set away Reid who unselfishly flicked the ball back for his strike partner and with the ball sitting up kindly, Doidge made no mistake as he lashed home on the half volley just inside the box to send the travelling supporters into raptures.

“Reuben and Christian worked their socks off today,” added Cooper.

“Christian has had a bad injury, he’s a bit rusty, but he’s come back and banged that one into the top corner for us.

“It was a great set from Reuben and a great finish from Doidge.

“He’s come off after the game, he’s cut, he’s having stitches again, he just encapsulates everything we are trying to do.

“I’m pleased for him because he has been out of the team for a while, he was rusty last week and he has come in and helped us to get three points.”

The win puts FGR six points clear of the bottom two with four games to play and Cooper is urging everyone to take the positivity into the rest of the season.

“That’s the result we need,” he said.

“It’s a great turnout from the fans, they’ve got behind the boys tremendously well and if we’re all pulling in the same direction then we can be a force.

“Positivity is the key.”


Next Match
Last Match
League Table

v Luton (A)

Luton Town

28/04/2018 3:00 pm

League Two

v Yeovil (A)


24/04/2018 7:45 pm

League Two

Match Report
Pos Club P GD PT
18 Port Vale 44 -12 47
19 Yeovil 44 -15 47
20 Forest Green 44 -18 47
21 Morecambe 44 -14 45
22 Grimsby 44 -28 45
Last updated: Tue 24 Apr 2018 21:48 pm