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Forest Green Rovers sack Mark Cooper as head coach

Forest Green Rovers sack Mark Cooper as head coach
© Reuters
Rovers have not won in six games, bringing an end to Mark Cooper's five-year reign.

Forest Green have sacked manager Mark Cooper after five years at the New Lawn helm.

Under-18s manager Jimmy Bell will take charge until the end of the season, with FGR chasing promotion to League One.

Cooper has paid the price for five defeats and a draw in the last six matches, with Rovers slipping to sixth in the table.

Chairman Dale Vince insisted the move is designed to hand Forest Green the best chance to revive that faltering promotion quest.

"This decision we've made today is about giving ourselves the best chance of securing promotion with six games left," said Vince.

"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."

Assistant manager Richard Dryden has also left the Gloucestershire club.

Cooper admitted after Saturday's loss to Walsall that confidence was low and Rovers needed to "grab a result from somewhere", but went on to illustrate the importance of injuries – most notably star striker Jamille Matt.

"When you take your 16-goal top scorer and a six-foot-four midfield player in Dan Sweeney out of the team, it's a blow and we've not recovered from it," he said. "We have to find a way."

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General view of Forest Green Rovers' The New Lawn from 2010
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