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Cooper praises Stags' work ethic in Gainsborough win

25 July 2017

Senior professional development coach Richard Cooper believes the Stags' players deserve credit for how they applied themselves in the 4-0 victory over Gainsborough Trinity this evening.

Cooper, alongside under 21s head coach Mike Whitlow, oversaw tonight's victory in Lincolnshire whilst first team boss Steve Evans and his coaching staff took charge of the 4-0 win over Matlock Town.

A brace from forward Omari Sterling-James and strikes from wingers CJ Hamilton and Alfie Potter ensured Stags chalked up a resounding win over Trinity at The Northolme.

And Cooper was impressed with the application of the first team players who travelled to Lincolnshire this evening.

"I think the boys worked really hard. That was the message when we left the ground this afternoon," the former Nottingham Forest midfielder said.

"First and foremost, it's a pre-season game that we're getting minutes out of it, invaluable minutes, in the bank. For me and Whits (Mike Whitlow) to see the team tonight, I think they've been a credit with the way they've worked, the way they've applied themselves and the way they've gone about the game.

"I think there's a togetherness in the camp, which was evident from the moment we walked in the ground this afternoon. I think both sets of players going to the two fixtures, there was definitely a buzz about them and they've took that not only into the warm-up, they've also carried it out in the game in the first and second half. 

"I think they've been a credit with the way they've worked, the way they've applied themselves and the way they've gone about the game."

Richard Cooper, coach

"It's hard to single anyone out because I think it was a good team performance. Alfie's (Potter) set presses off all night with his work-rate, his commitment and his energy, which is very infectious. The defence has been solid and obviously Omari's (Sterling-James) got two goals and two really, really good finishes."

The former York City man believes the Stags' squad is looking strong ahead of the new season and the group offers the club's younger players something to aspire to.

"There's obviously competition for places, which is a good thing. League Two's a tough campaign and you will need your players; it's not just about 11 players or anything like that, it's definitely a squad game.

"I can certainly see, in terms of camaraderie and togetherness, that this seems a really good bunch in the camp. We challenge the younger players in the academy – this is what you've got to aspire to.

"I think it's like any player in the world, they all want to get 90 minutes under their belts to test their own fitness levels and that's probably why the gaffer's chosen the two fixtures tonight to get the two XIs out there. I think those 75 minutes marks, when you're a player you want to try and get through them."

Supporters will be able to view Richard Cooper's entire post-match interview on iFollow Stags later tonight.


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