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'Quality throughout': Forest Green boss on Bolton test

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Forest Green boss Mark Cooper believes Wanderers’ January recruitment has made all the difference in their charge up the League Two table.

The Whites head to the New Lawn fifth, two points and two places behind their hosts on the back of a 12-game unbeaten run.

Cooper has been plotting how to halt that charge and is relishing the televised clash.

“They had a big recruitment drive in the summer and then they changed their recruitment policy before Christmas and they had another big recruitment drive in January,” he told his club’s website.

“They players they’ve brought in in January have really helped them and given them the quality to kick on. They’ve got quality throughout their team and their squad.

“They’re on a good run and good runs are there to be ended but we’re really looking forward to the game, we can’t wait for it. It’s a great game for us.”

The midfield axis of MJ Williams and Kieran Lee was an important part of the influx of key men at the start of the year, and Cooper believes they sum up the wider picture at the UniBol.

“I know MJ Williams, I had him at Swindon, and there’s Kieran Lee as well, they’re above the level you’d have to say, they’re not League Two players,” the Rovers boss added.

“You can say that about quite a lot of Bolton’s players.”

Cooper and counterpart Ian Evatt have similar footballing philosophies with both expecting a game that is easy on the eye for the Sky Sports cameras.

“If you look at his Barrow team last year they played a decent style of football and I think we were probably the last team to do that in the National League,” he said.

“Ian’s showed that you can get out of the National League by playing football and he’s kept that up in League Two.

“We’ve had to change a little bit. We lost (Carl) Winchester (to Sunderland) and that dominating holding midfield player that could control the tempo of the game.

“We’ve had to change a bit we haven’t got one of those at the moment. We’ve had to adapt a little bit but the boys have done great.”


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