FOREST GREEN is in rude health going into 2020, according to upbeat head coach Mark Cooper.

Rovers kick-start the second-half of the season with the visit of promotion rivals Exeter City on New Year’s Day. City ended 2019 in second place in the table, just two points behind league leaders Swindon Town, meanwhile, Rovers are fifth, a point shy of third-place Crewe.

Looking back on a year that featured a play-off semi-final defeat, Cooper told the FGR website: “It’s been a great year for the football club. I’m sure Forest Green fans are still slapping themselves to realise where they are in the football pyramid, and they have a chance to go and get promoted again.”

Cooper expects a tough test against the Grecians, he added: “Exeter are a very aggressive team. They get on the front foot and they have some good players. The manager has done a great job and it will be a tough game, but we’d like to think it will be a tough game for them as well,” said head coach Mark Cooper.

“It’s a bit of a derby, there should be a good crowd and we’re really looking forward to it."