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Forest Green Rovers part company with Mark Cooper after five years with the club

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Forest Green Rovers have parted company with Head Coach Mark Cooper after five years.

The 52-year-old’s dismissal came after a wretched run of six matches without a win and four consecutive defeats left them sixth in the table.

Cooper had led the club to promotion to the English Football League at the end of his first season with the club and also led them to the playoffs in his third season.

Saturday’s defeat at struggling Walsall was Forest Green’s fourth in a row and sixth loss in their past 10 league games, with the club now five points off the automatic promotion places.

Cooper’s plight since the new year saw him hit with a raft of injuries, including top scorer Jamille Matt, Dan Sweeney and the January departures of Carl Winchester and Liam Kitching.

Chairman Dale Vince said: “This decision we’ve made today is about giving ourselves the best chance of securing promotion with six games left. 

“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.”

As a result of the change, Assistant Head Coach Richard Dryden has also left the club. Under-18s Manager Jimmy Ball, son of England World Cup winner Alan, will be interim Head Coach of the first-team until the end of the season. 

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