Forest Green manager Mark Cooper has admitted that his side suffered a loss of confidence after the defeat by the Imps, but he insisted the league leaders have yet to have a wobble.
With just minutes remaining of our clash with FGR on November 19th, the in-play table had us twelve points behind them, but just a month later and we top the table and are clear of the Villagers by four points. Cooper admits the last minute defeat was a big blow. Speaking to Gloucestershirelive he said;
“There are no easy games. We are three unbeaten now, we are showing signs of the effects of losing so dramatically against Lincoln.”
Cooper was still as bullish as ever when referring to his sides chance of catching City.
“Tranmere have lost a game, we have a game in hand of them and are two points behind. Lincoln have not really had any kind of wobble yet, there is a long way to go.”
I would disagree with that statement, I think the six game spell in which we won just twice constitutes a wobble when talking in the context of title challenges. On September 13th we drew with Solihull, and in the next five games collected a further draw against Bromley. We did beat Braintree and Wrexham, but slipped to consecutive defeats against Dover and Barrow.
Somewhat ominously we play those two teams back to back in the league once again in just a few weeks time, two games that could ultimately confirm whether we are champions elect, or set for a play off date.
Whilst we will have a cash boost to hopefully strengthen ahead of these massive matches, the kitty will surely be dwarfed by the size of investment in FGR this season. Documents released to companies house prior to our game in November show that Dale Vince and his Ecotricity company have ploughed just shy of £5m this season.
On April 29th of this year the company bought 495,000 shares in the club at £10 each, adding to the 400,000 they already own. They are by far the largest shareholder in FGR as well, all other interested parties, 166 of them, have between two and four figures maximum.
I’m sure it is galling to see a club with a sensible level of investment managed well over a period of time, doing so well and attracting the biggest names in non-league management. There’s no doubt playing for a club with the facilities, history and crucially support of Lincoln City is a massive draw, and hopefully over the next few weeks that will be evident as one or two new faces come in for the right reasons.
As for FGR, money isn’t buying the success they expect, and it hasn’t for several seasons now. The attitude of a player who wants to earn more by playing in front of what amounts to a National League South crowd, is never going to match that of an ambitious player who wants to work with the best coaches at this level to achieve success. If the likes of Ricky Miller do follow the money and go to the little club, then they weren’t right for us in the first place.