Cooper's Rovers too big to refuse in Devon
Matt Taylor meets Mark Cooper this weekend in a League Two top of the table clash with the Grecians looking to bounce back from a surprise defeat to Harrogate Town in their last outing. The hosts have been impressive in the early knockings of the campaign, ridding the memory of their painful 4-0 loss to Northampton Town in last season’s playoff final. Taylor and his group, containing a flurry of precocious talents, are clearly made of sterner stuff and the former club captain is making huge strides in this his first venture in management. Given that, the visitors’ underlying numbers this season have been consistently that of an automatic promotion contender, making their price for this matchup very enticing.
Regression around the corner?
It was a shock to see the Grecians fall to that defeat against Simon Weaver’s newly promoted Harrogate, the Sulphurites had tasted victory in just one of their previous 10 League Two encounters going into their trip to St. James’ Park, however their frankly insane run of scoring 20 goals in four league games coming to an anti climactic halt was not. Relying on younger and more inexperienced players in the likes of Archie Collins and Joel Randall will always have ups and downs, they cannot be expected to be key performers in the team week in week out.
Would possession football work in League Two?
The Green sit second and earnt arguably their best result of the season last time out, beating Chris Beech’s Carlisle by a goal to nil. Where Exeter have been goal crazy FGR have not, but that is not a way of saying they do not entertain. Cooper has instilled a very easy on the eye style of play in his time at the club, possibly the most pleasing in League Two and is seeing the rewards as his side are six points and four places ahead of the hosts in second. The mystery of why 24-year-old box to box machine Ebou Adams has not been picked up by a club either in the Championship or with realistic ambitions of arriving there very soon still goes on. The Greenwich born number eight has made his way into the English Football League the hard way with many spells at semi professional clubs, but now he has made his bed and is definitely here to stay, remember the name. He has the ability to run proceedings on Boxing Day.
Forest Green are trending as an automatic promotion team, compared to Exeter a playoff outfit. Cooper has a well oiled and crucially more consistent bunch at his disposal, the price is too big.