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Forest Green Rovers Head Coach Duncan Ferguson praises “fantastic centre backs” as his first game ends in late heartbreak against Shrewsbury Town

Duncan Ferguson hauled praise on his centre back partnership despite his first game as Head Coach of Forest Green Rovers ending in a 2-1 defeat to Shrewsbury Town.

It was a humbling start to life in the job for the Everton legend as two stoppage time goals cancelled out Jordon Garrick’s first half stunner as Salop stole the points, with Rovers having led for three quarters of the clash.

But despite the late goals from Rekeil Pyke and Ryan Bowman to win the game for the Shropshire outfit, Ferguson was impressed with his team, in particular the defensive duo of Brandon Cooper and Olly Casey.

“The two centre backs were fantastic. All of the players were great, every single one of them were very good,” started Ferguson.

“But its just one of those things. We get the first contact on the set play but they finish it off and then with the second we were a bit weak in the challenge and got a bit unfortunate.”


The defeat means Rovers have now dropped a staggering 21 points from the winning positions in League One so far this season, the same amount they currently have through 29 games.

And the late capitulation really sums up the season as a whole with Rovers currently sat bottom of the league four points from safety.

Ferguson had something to say on the lengthy amount of injury time after the game as the winning goal came in the 98th minute despite just six minutes being indicated by the fourth official.

“I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a 98 minute game in League One or any game, unless it was in the Wolrd Cup to be fair,” joked Ferguson.

“That’s what I said to the fourth official are you sure its not the World Cup your officiating at.”

It’s another loss that continues a winless 2023 thus far but there was for sure signs of improvement under the watchful eye of former Premier League striker Ferguson.

‘Big Dunc’s at the wheel’ rang out from the stands for the entirety of Saturday’s game showing a real upturn in positivity around the club.

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Ferguson took note of the fans and their support from inside the Montgomery Waters Meadow and his hoping his players can continue to show the same fight to keep the fans on board.

“I think as long as the players are putting a shift in like they did today I’ll be happy. I think most people will be happy.

“You’ve seen the travelling fans there. They gave the players a clap off which was nice to see and they can see the effort they put in today.”

Next up for Ferguson is a first game at The Bolt New Lawn in a battle of the Ferguson’s as Darren’s Peterborough United travel to Nailsworth this Saturday.

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