Forest Green Rovers looking to bounce back in Football League Trophy after Lincoln thrashing

Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper wants his side to ‘move on’ quickly from their 6-2 thrashing in the FA Cup away to Lincoln City.

Late consolation goals from Elliott Whitehouse and Jake Young were to no avail as Rovers bow out of the FA Cup at the first round.

Manager Cooper described his sides performance in one word “soft”.

He went on to add: “We started well. Two brilliant chances. Two one on ones to go in front.

“And then the first two shots or the first two opportunities Lincoln have, they score.

“That’s the difference and we tried really hard with the boys that came into the team.

“They tried their socks off but we weren’t good enough.

“Every time Lincoln shot they scored.

“Or every time they got in our box, it was a goal.

“So we were soft in defence and were wasteful in attack. Not a good recipe.

“But we had to leave the spine of the team out to get them ready for Mansfield.”

“We have to move on quickly from this defeat.”

Forest Green Rovers Manager Mark Cooper

Midfielder Carl Winchester also has his say on the performance and simply summed up the result as a “disappointment.”

The Northern Irish midfielder went on to add: “Far too many of the goals that we gave away were sloppy goals.

“Once you give chances to teams in League One, you know that they are going to take them.

“They are a good side.

“I thought we started well and had a good couple of chances. And then you find yourself 2-0 down.

“And it’s hard especially against a team in League One.  So, there aren’t too many positives that we can take from the day overall, just major disappointment.

“We’ve just got to regroup now and focus on the league. Promotion was the target at the start so we’ll focus now on that.”

FGR midfielder Carl Winchester

But there is no time to dwell for the Gloucestershire based side who have a big week ahead of them with crucial games in the Football League Trophy and League Two.

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First up is Swindon Town in the Football League Trophy. A local (ish) derby which could decide which of the two teams goes through to the next round of the competition.

A draw would most likely be enough for Rovers to progress if West Brom Academy lose to group leaders Exeter City.

But if FGR fall to defeat and West Brom manage to draw at Exeter, the Baggies will progress to the next round of the competition.

There has to be a four goal swing in favour of Swindon Town to give them any chance of progressing. They have to rely on Exeter defeating the Baggies.

So there is a lot at stake for Rovers. But with the main attention for both manager Cooper and player Winchester being on the league game against Mansfield at the weekend, there is a big chance that a inexperienced side could be sent out on Tuesday.

Forest Green reporter for Stroud News and Journal Sam Wiles had his say on what he thinks Cooper’s quotes mean post Lincoln defeat for the Swindon clash in the EFL Trophy.

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“Cooper made it clear post match on Saturday that his focus is on Mansfield on Saturday,” Wiles said. “It’ll be important to get a win but honestly, if they lose it won’t be the end of the world.

Wiles went on to add: “He made no bones telling his players that Saturday is where his interest is.

“Having said that, Swindon is a local (ish) derby and winning it will give them confidence to push on in the league after being humbled by Lincoln on Saturday.

“I don’t think it was a mistake dropping players on Saturday. They have a very congested fixture list and he needed to use Saturday to rest a few players.

“They still fielded a very strong side against Lincoln.

“I imagine tomorrow we’ll see a weaker again. I doubt we’ll see the likes of Jamille Matt etc. starting but who knows.

Stroud News and Journal correspondent Sam Wiles

Kick-off for the game is at 7pm on Tuesday 10th November at the New Lawn in Gloucestershire.

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