4:32pm Tuesday 13th August 2013
By Ashley Loveridge
FOREST Green boss David Hockaday is playing down his side's sensational opening day 8-0 Hyde destruction.
Rovers underlined their billing as Skrill Premier title favourites, but the former Watford coach said: "It's one game, it's three points, it's a great performance - that's all it is.
"We're always looking to improve. Now we've got a tough journey to Nuneaton tonight and Lincoln City on Saturday , we need to recover properly. Hockaday felt his side started slowly and were almost caught cold in the opening minute.
"We started nervously and we struggled that bit through and to do what they've done is not easy," said Hockaday.
"Against ten men it's never easy and yet my players, with the way they went about it, made it look easy.
"They've (Hyde) worked hard but the quality of play, the quality of finishing, and I'm saying there could have been a lot more goals - double - is testament to how we went about it.
"So I'm really proud of the professionalism of the team.
"Hyde will take points off top teams, they're a good team, and I'm not just saying that.
"They're a good footballing team and for ten minutes we found it difficult to get out.
"We rode that, we scored the goal, and they've obviously had the man sent off, and we just went into a another gear.
"We kept it very simple and we put them to the sword.
"We took people off and other fresh legs have come on and they must have gone, 'Oh my goodness, what's going on here'. Hockaday was stoked to see the outstanding Matty Taylor bag a brace along with goals for James Norwood, Danny Wright and Matthew Barnes-Homer, who both netted on their debuts.
"All the strikers have scored and I'm delighted with that, but then there's the focus that we kept, the concentration we kept, the closing down in the second half when you don't need to because you've got your three points.
"But I said, 'It's either going to be 4-0 or it's going to be a cricket score, let's go and put them to the sword', and we did and I'm really, really pleased with that."
Hat-trick hero Marcus Kelly took the plaudits with a debut treble, and the free transfer signing from Tamworth has certainly hit the ground running.
"Marcus had the licence to get into the box and break the line from midfield and to score a hat-trick on his debut will give him massive confidence."
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