Forest Green head coach Mark Cooper lauded Rovers’ tenacity as they moved up to third sport in the League standings after edging past Grimsby 1-0 on Tuesday evening, writes Sam Wiles.

Jake Young’s first half strike was enough to ensure all three points stayed in Gloucestershire as Ian Holloway brought his side to the Innocent New Lawn.

Despite the victory, the match wasn’t a pretty affair for Rovers. Chances were few and far between and Cooper admitted that his side didn’t play their best game.

Speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, he said: “We didn’t play well tonight and I’m not trying to hide that but the boys showed grit and determination and sometimes you have to do that.”

Grimsby also struggled to gain any real momentum during the game and only began to start knocking on Rovers’ door in the latter stages of the contest.

Despite looking bereft of ideas in front of goal, Cooper stated that Holloway’s side will still pose a threat during the rest of the season.

“I thought his team were good tonight,” he said. “They moved the ball well and rotated; they’ll get points.”

One surprise to the Rovers team sheet was the omission of Edou Adams. Adams has posed a threat from midfield this season but Cooper was quick to play down his absence.

He said: “He’s had a bit of a niggle in his thigh so we decided to rest him completely because we had enough cover.

“We decided to rest him and get him really fresh for Saturday.”

Cooper was handed a huge boost ahead of Tuesday night’s game as Nicky Cadden and Dan Sweeney returned to first team action after their isolation period came to end.

Cadden started the game and Sweeney made his return off the bench but their manager was quick to play down their returns.

He said: “You could tell they hadn’t played for two weeks but that’s the way it is at the minute.

“You’re going to play against strong teams when you’re weak and weak teams when you’re strong, it’s just about adapting and putting points on the board.”

Since the confirmed Coronavirus cases within the first team squad was announced, Rovers have taken an impressive nine points from a possible 12 and Cooper is over the moon with the results but remains realistic regarding potential absentees.

“If you’d offered me that after what happened last Friday with the five players out, I’d snap your hand off,” he said. “The way it is at the minute, it’s a long time before Saturday and anything can happen.”

Forest Green next make the short trip to local rivals Cheltenham on Saturday and Cooper spoke on how different the fixture will be this time around.

He said: “It’s a different game with a different atmosphere, different intensity so it means nothing about last year.”