Noah Dougherty
Saturday 26 January 2019

Mark Cooper speaks following Forest Green Rovers' 2-0 victory over Stevenage at The Lamex Stadium.

The FGR boss discusses goals on the counter-attack, his team's defensive set-up and a great away record. 

Mark, a 2-0 win against Stevenage. It’s a tough place to come but a really good performance.

It’s a really tough place to come against a dogged team that ask a lot of questions of you but we looked assured.

Did you have to change your approach at all for today’s game?

We chose to drop off a little and let Stevenage have the ball. We felt that would be our best chance to attack, pinching the ball off them high up the pitch or in the middle of the pitch and that is where the goals came from today.

Is the counter attack football something you are able to do a little bit more now?

We’re not really a counter-attacking team, but we knew the strengths and weaknesses of Stevenage and it’s about approaching every game in a manner that you see fit to win the game, and that’s the way we chose to go about it today.

If anyone has been down to training, they’ll see that as soon as the ball goes dead, it’s a case of hand on the ball and look to play again as quickly as possible. It worked today with the quick free-kick for the first goal.

We just want to play football and it was a great little move, a great cross and a great little finish from Shephard.

Do you feel like you were in control in the first half?

I thought so. Sometimes you think that we’re having to defend a lot of crosses and long balls but the way we defend and mark in the box, nothing really troubled us.

We talk about the importance of the timings of goals, Christian Doidge was in the right place at the right time.

That’s what he does. If anyone was going to be there it was Christian but my only disappointment is that we should have been a bit cleverer with our first pass on the break then we could have scored more.

You looked dangerous on the break, didn’t you? Reece Brown hitting the post as well.

Browny hit the inside of the post and then we brought Junior [Mondal] on for that little bit more pace but we didn’t get that little break to kill the game.

A clean sheet, and some important saves from James Montgomery as well, particularly in the second half.

I don’t think he had many things to deal with today. He had one that was straight at him and we kept it down to a minimum and defended really well.

We move up a place in the league, and unbeaten on the road since November 3. That’s some record.

Yeah and we have to keep that up. We have a brilliant game on Tuesday, it’s a free hit for us, there’s no pressure on us. No one expects us to be where we are, so we can go and enjoy ourselves on Tuesday night knowing that we’ve put some good work in today. We are ready to go.

Are you enjoying this at the moment?

Why not. If you can’t enjoy being at the top of the table then you never will. The players have been absolutely fantastic, all of them, and I think they are really enjoying themselves and that is what the game is about at the end of the day.