League Two Boss Makes Forest Green Rovers Survival Prediction

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough believes Forest Green Rovers‘ chances of survival will improve under the guidance of new manager Steve Cotterill.

The pair head into this Saturday’s clash at The New Lawn in very different situations, with the Stags pushing to secure the League Two title whilst Forest Green sit rooted to the foot of the table and nine points from safety.

The Gloucestershire-based side are staring down the barrel of their second successive relegation and appointed their third manager of the season last month in ex-Shrewsbury Town boss Steve Cotterill. The 59-year-old has bags of experience at this level but knows he is up against it to keep his new team from dropping back into non-league for the first time since 2017.

The Green’s looked to be well on the way to securing their first victory under their new gaffer on Saturday when they took a 2-0 lead at Colchester United. However, The U’s struck back with three goals in five second half minutes before Dominic Thompson levelled to secure the visitors a precious point.

Mansfield is hardly the fixture they wanted right now, although Clough believes their fate isn’t sealed just yet, hailing their appointment of the former Bristol City manager. Speaking to CHAD ahead of Saturday’s meeting, the 57-year-old said:

“Forest Green have had quite a few changes of coaches and so on this season.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago when we played them and they were the outstanding team in League Two, and if there was any team you thought was going to survive it was them.

“Unfortunately they came back down and are struggling at the wrong end again.

“So I think they made the most sensible appointment they could have done in their situation with Steve Cotterill. I think he will improve their chances.”

Clough believes that their next opponents are capable of pulling off a result and won’t be underestimating his opponents:

“It is a potential banana skin without a doubt. They were 2-0 up at Colchester on Saturday and it ended 3-3.

“With Steve coming in they will have a sense of optimism they haven’t had for a few months that they can stay up.

“Certainly they will be looking for a home win on Saturday, irrespective of the opposition.”

Mansfield ended a run of four games without a win on Saturday with a derby win over Notts County. They are now four points behind leaders Stockport County, who next travel to Lincolnshire to face Grimsby Town.

Writer’s View

Steve Cotterill is indeed an excellent appointment for Forest Green Rovers, although it does appear to be too-little-too-late. Nine points is a huge gap to make up at this stage of the season and it would be a minor miracle to see them survive.

They face Barrow next Tuesday and it’s hard to see them picking up any points from their next two league fixtures. Saturday’s performance will give them heart, but Mansfield will be too strong for them this weekend.

 

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