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It’s where the table is at the end of April – Cotterill

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A hammer blow to their survival hopes, positive Forest Green boss Steve Cotterill is aiming to attack the last eight games of the season.

With a dagger into the heart, Rovers dropped back into the bottom two after a 1-0 defeat at home to basement boys Sutton United.

Boasting back-to-back wins prior to facing Sutton, Cotterill felt his side looked sluggish, he said: “When I  think back to what we’ve done, when we’ve had those three-game week’s, we do seem to have a little bit of a problem when we get to that third game.

“I think there’s been so many of our guys that have been injured and trying to come back through an injury and they’re not fit enough where they can start. Because you don’t know whether they’re going to  last the game or whether they’re going to break down again. 

“The tendency for me is to always try and keep that team and keep that continuity, especially when you have a very short space of time. Training time in the week, so it wasn’t that they didn’t want to do it today, but we just couldn’t. We couldn’t get ourselves going. I felt it after about 10 minutes, what we did need is we needed that chance where Tyrese hit the post. We needed that to go in for us to give us a  little bit of a leg up in the game.”

With eight games to go, Cotterill is measured ahead of the relegation run-in.

He said: “I haven’t had time to look at the table, but you know when we moved out of the bottom two the other night I wasn’t euphoric, I’ll take that pretty much in my stride – it’s where the table is at the end of April.

“We’ve got lots of games between now and then. And as I said before, there’ll be a bump in the road and today, that’s one of those bumps.”

Earlier,  Sutton planted the first glove on Rovers inside three minutes when Oli Sanderson’s flighted cross was nodded on to the top of Norwich City loanee Vicente’s Reyes’ bar from  Coley.  Charlie Lakin rattled the base of Rovers’ post with a skidding strike from outside the box.

Rovers’ first opportunity arrived on 21 minutes – Christian Doidge lifted the ball over the bar and  moments later Tyrese Omotoye stabbed his shot against the foot of Steve Arnold’s post.

Sutton broke the deadlock five minutes before the break. Josh Coley clipping a delightful strike beyond the outstretched glove of Reyes.

From the second-half get-go, Rovers were hunting parity. Arnold grabbed  Ryan Inniss’s downward header from a Dominic Thompson corner and a brave Sam Hart defensive header denied Forest Green striker Christian Doidge at the far post as Sutton held out.

Rovers drop back into the bottom two with Sutton three points behind, the U’s having played one more game.

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