Forest Green Rovers have decided to sack their manager Mark Cooper despite the club being in the playoffs of the League Two table.
The 52-year-old’s axing came after a poor run of six matches without a win and four consecutive defeats left them 6th in the current standings.
Cooper had led the club to promotion to the English Football League at the end of his first season with the club., but now his five-year stay is up
📝 FGR part company with Head Coach Mark Cooper.#WeAreFGR 💚
— Forest Green Rovers (@FGRFC_Official) April 11, 2021
Forest Green Rovers have parted company with Head Coach Mark Cooper after five years of working together, a tenure which made him one of the longest serving coaches in English football – and during which the club achieved its historic promotion to the EFL.
Chairman Dale Vince said: “This decision we’ve made today is about giving ourselves the best chance of securing promotion with six games left.
“Despite our collective efforts we’ve been unable to halt our slide in form, which has the potential to take us out of contention this season.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Mark these last five years, he’s made a big contribution to the club and will always be a friend. In football sometimes you just need to make a change – and with Mark’s contract ending next month, and us needing a change in the next six games – this feels like the right decision.”
As a result of the change, Assistant Head Coach Richard Dryden has also left the club.
Under-18s Manager Jimmy Ball will be interim Head Coach of the first-team until the end of the season. Further updates will be provided to supporters over coming days.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
Despite a disappointing result either side of the Easter Weekend, Mark Cooper said he was confident that his players have what it takes to get the wins rolling in again.
“It’s just about trying to give the players the belief they need,” explained Cooper.
“The players we have are the players we’re going to finish the season with. We have to try and build them up and give them energy.
“One win can change everything, and I just want the players to enjoy it. That’s been the message throughout the season.”
“Nobody is going to give us the win to get us started again,” said the Rovers boss.
“We need to show our ability and be disciplined.
“We’ve got to enjoy every aspect of the game whether that be running, attacking or defending.
“I believe in the players.”
“You have to score goals to win games, but that’s an issue we’ve had all season,” said Cooper.
“We’re hoping that in the last seven games we can start turning our opportunities into goals.
“I’m going to pick a team this week which I think will reap those rewards.
“We had a few bumps and bruises on Monday which we’ll look at before the weekend.”
Fans reacted after seeing that Forest Green sack their manager despite being in the playoffs…
@Jakey_Boyz: OH MY FUCKING GOD ITS HAPPENED NOBODY PANIC
@michaelupton96: This is absolutely hilarious. Stay classy you tinpot tinpots.
@Markysix: Caught with a Steak Bake?
@termy1968: Announce a minutes applause before Saturdays game
@JoshFrodsham_: Will be forever grateful for him bringing us to the EFL but it just didn’t work out the way we wanted it to in the end and ultimately it was the right decision. All the best mark 💚🖤 now let’s push on and end the season on a high 💚🖤
@MitchSellar: Thanks for everything during your time here Mark Cooper. Genuinely.
@athole52: We all know the real reason he’s been fired. He’s been caught on camera in the local Butchers or Greggs at the bottom of the hill,munching on a sausage roll I reckon!
@gtfc1967: Broke club protocols by scoffing a big Mac on team coach.
@TheRedAdair: Not a commonly known fact, but John Sheridan has been vegan for several years now…
@mrcrh11: Very odd move, still in play offs. Clubs doing far worse have stuck by managers
@loubear84: Vile Bloke Karma 👊
@black_dug: Football is a ruthless business and I wish Mark Cooper well as he put FGR in contention for league 1. The run of form recently has been awful and it is hard to see how it can be turned around, but here’s hoping.
@davestone1980: Spoilsports! We were enjoying that. #swa #trfc
@JohnKay6: Better late than never, should have been sacked last season. Never liked him, came across as very arrogant.
@guy_guym: Ha ha ha couldn’t happen to a nice bloke
@ReecerWinney: Richie Wellens lined up then…
@NBarham70: Vince caught cooper eating a meat pie I heard
@prentonpete: Such a shame. Such a nice fella aswell
@MarkCochrane67: Thank f**k for that!
@simmod7: Rumour has it he was seen eating a Big Mac. Simply had to go!!!
@xJared04: Cheers Mark but it was time to go
@cafc___: Got caught eating meat
@febery1: I thought he was doing a great job 😊😊
@BaimbridgeSam: Happiest day of my life
@colwick2009: Good move, somewhat late but good one the less.
@Ryanhaney67: Gutted at the same time wish him all the best in the future and he’ll always be welcome back
@KyGibo: Thanks for everything agent Cooper… from all of us at #ctfc
He’s ready to go Vegan pic.twitter.com/oOjW5GVRho
— Out of context Swindon Town (@OOCSwindonTown) April 11, 2021
Tinpot club but at least he can tuck into a decent steak now pic.twitter.com/BEwtkF9NQS
— Tim of the Town (@timofthetown) April 11, 2021
— James Audley (@JAudley89) April 11, 2021
— Jabba (@JabbaHall) April 11, 2021
— Billy Ormond (@billyormond) April 11, 2021