Forest Green fell to their third league defeat on the spin as they were brushed aside by Salford City in a 2-0 loss on Monday afternoon.

Salford’s veteran striker Ian Henderson netted two fine finishes either side of half-time to put the game way beyond Rovers’ reaches.

Despite the loss, Forest Green finished the game remaining in fifth spot, with the automatic promotion places still in sight.

Rovers boss Mark Cooper admitted that his side are bereft of confidence, as he said: “We are suffering with a lack of confidence; we’re having to find a different way.

“Everybody is getting an opportunity to stake their claim, the players now need to step up and take their opportunities.

“You can talk about formation, tactics, you can talk about all of that but I’ve said it recently in the last few weeks, if you don’t match the opposition for work rate and strength and desire, you can’t win – it’s impossible.”

Salford dominated the entire contest and defended resolutely – allowing Rovers only to have just three shots on target the entire match.

Cooper conceded that his side were just simply not up to the task on the day.

“I thought we got bullied today,” he said. “I always try and look after the players and I am looking after them, but today, the truth is we got bullied.”

One positive for Forest Green to take from the match was the fact that Ebou Adams returned to midfield following his absence from the side.

Adams played the majority of the match and his manager was visibly excited to have the 25-year-old back in his squad.

He said: “He was 80 per cent fit but if we had 11 Ebou Adams we’d be 50 points clear at the top of the league now.

“He played on one leg today and when I talk about desire and spirit, he might not be the prettiest on the eye and at times he winds people up but he’s got a heart like a bucket and all I can say is I wouldn’t want to play against him.”

Rovers next travel to 20th placed Walsall and will be looking to register their first win since the middle of March.