Cooper talks up Curle's Cobblers and highlights McCormack as the danger man

Forest Green Rovers boss Mark Cooper has been talking up the quality and experience of Keith Curle's Cobblers ahead of tomorrow's fixture between the two teams at the PTS Stadium.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:46 pm
Mark Cooper

Rovers have stuttered of late, winning just one of their last seven fixtures, but they still occupy an automatic promotion place in Sky Bet League Two.

They go into tomorrow's game on the back of successive defeats to Scunthorpe and Carlisle while the Cobblers are also hoping to bounce back following their first loss in seven.

"They've been on a great run," said Cooper. "They had a hiccup at Exeter in a close game but before that they were on a fantastic run.

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"I went to watch them against Notts County and we know it'll be a tough game and we have to stand up to them and defend well.

"They're organised, they're effective, they run and they press high up the pitch so we have to do what we do and do it really well.

"We have our strengths and they have their strengths but both teams have weaknesses and it's about who exposes each other's weaknesses and who plays to their strengths.

"They have experience and knowhow and they know how to manage a game and invariably they make more good decisions than bad."

Alan McCormack has been influential in Town's turnaround and Cooper knows all about the Irishman's quality having managed him at Swindon Town in 2013, although he's also wary of the other threats his side will face on Saturday.

"Alan McCormack was with me at Swindon and he's a great pro," Cooper added. "You know what you're getting with him because you put him on the pitch and he organises everything and gets them going.

"He was very good when I watched them but they've got a lot of other good players - Vadaine Oliver, Scott Wharton, Andy Williams, Charlie Goode, Jordan Turnbull - so there's a lot of experience and quality."

Asked about the style of football Rovers will come up against, Cooper continued: "They do what they have to do to win a game. There's no right or wrong way to play football.

"They have big lads, they're really good on set-pieces and they'll do whatever they can do to win a game of football - and that's how it should be.

"Keith's done a good job there. He's turned them around and they look a good bet to be up there at the end of the season.

"Northampton’s a nice place. It’s a decent stadium and the pitch will be flat and firm which is what we like. We’re looking forward to it.”

And on the injury front, he added: “Elliott Frear is fit to be involved. Joe Mills and Jack Aitchison are both fit too.

"George Williams has just come back from St. George’s Park doing two weeks of intensive rehab, and he’ll be out running on the grass next week.”