01 April 2024

Steve Cotterill praises Forest Green’s determination after win at Crewe

01 April 2024

Steve Cotterill praised the resilience of Forest Green’s players as the EFL’s bottom club won 3-0 at Crewe.

The Sky Bet League Two strugglers swept into a three-goal lead before the half-hour mark at Gresty Road and then defended the lead impressively in the second half, helped by some outstanding goalkeeping by Vicente Reyes.

Jordan Garrick netted twice and Jamie Robson added the third in a purple patch for the visitors during which Emmanuel Osadebe also hit a post.

“I am pleased with the win; we kept a clean sheet and scored three good goals,” said Cotterill.

“At the moment we’d be thankful for any win, so to win 3-0 at a team near the top is very good.

“We’ve had an incredibly difficult run since I have been here, but the lads were fantastic today.

“They were really determined and, while confidence is a word that hasn’t been high on the agenda this season, the determination and resilience we showed today was excellent.

“We’d won four games when I came in and now in a couple of months we’ve won five, so that is a huge upturn. It has taken a lot of hard work and I’m delighted for everyone at the club as there’s not been a lot to cheer this season.

“For Jordan Garrick to get on the scoresheet was good and I thought Christian Doidge and Jamie Robson were outstanding. Jamie set the tempo for us, so much so the boys gave him a round of applause in the dressing room afterwards.”

Garrick finished in the 13th-minute after Dodge capitalised on a mistake by Ed Turns and broke to slip clear his strike partner.

Forest Green then stunned the home crowd into boos and howling at their own players with two goals in as many minutes. Dominic Thompson’s corner was headed downwards by Ryan Inniss and Garrick bundled the ball over the line.

Robson then applied a glancing header to Charlie McCann’s cross to find the far corner for the third.

Crewe hit back after the interval and Reyes kept out an Elliott Nevitt volley at close range.

Charlie Kirk’s side-footed effort came back off the woodwork and looked to be over the line, but the officials waved away home appeals.

Crewe boss Lee Bell urged his players to respond to the setback as the Railwaymen’s barren run continued – they have won only won one of their last six games to hit their hopes of securing automatic promotion.

“I want to apologise to Crewe fans for the manner of that defeat,” said Bell.

“The first half was totally unacceptable. We had a really good crowd of over 5,000 and the club worked hard to get more supporters in, but what they saw in the first half was not was what we have been like this season.

“If we want to stay in the play-offs that’s got to stop quickly. The players were down on the floor afterwards and it is my job to pick them up.

“We’ve got to embrace it and not shrink and disappear. This should galvanise the players as their pride should be hurt after that 30 minutes of football we showed in the first half.

“There’s four weeks of the season left and we’ve got to everything right to get in a position the fans expect us to be in.”

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