Forest Green Rovers boss predicts Mansfield Town will benefit from sticking by John Dempster

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper salutes the travelling fans at the end of the Carabao Cup Second Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Forest Green Rovers at Vitality Stadium on August 28, 2019 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper salutes the travelling fans at the end of the Carabao Cup Second Round match between AFC Bournemouth and Forest Green Rovers at Vitality Stadium on August 28, 2019 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Mark Cooper predicts Mansfield Town will benefit from sticking by manager John Dempster.

The Forest Green Rovers boss backed the Stags to “eventually go on to have a decent season” ahead of the meeting between the two teams on Saturday.

Cooper said: “We watched the game (Mansfield 6-1 Oldham) back. Obviously if you lose two men, it makes it difficult, but Mansfield were good when it was 11 v 11. I think they would’ve won the game anyway.

“They’ve had a couple of good results after a sticky start to the season. They’ve shown good faith in their manager, and by doing that, I think they’ll eventually go on to have a decent season.”

Asked if he was surprised by Mansfield’s start, he replied: “Yes and no.

“I think when you go through a play-off campaign and then you lose a manager, it can be difficult. We went through a play-off campaign, but we’ve been okay. They’ve gone the other way and they’ve appointed another manager from within (the club), I think he’s a good appointment. I am surprised.”

But Cooper was under no illusions at the test which awaits his Rovers side.

“They’re very aggressive. They’ve got two forwards that will put themselves about, and will run in behind,” he said.

“They’ve got a bit of presence in the team as well, some good experience. It’s a difficult game every week, always full respect to the opposition and we know we’ll have to play really well.

“Nicky Maynard is a top player at this level. Danny Rose is obviously very good in the air for his size and he’s very aggressive. So, we know what we have to deal with.

“I don’t mean aggressive like overly-physical, I mean aggressive in that they will want it. Every team poses different threats. We’ll have to nullify those. It’s more important we do what we do.”