Gloucester City manager Mike Cook has praised his side for showing the perfect reaction in their 3-0 win over Curzon Ashton on Tuesday night.
City, who were lacklustre in their 1-0 defeat at home to Darlington at the weekend, produced a superb team performance to dispatch in-form Curzon – thanks to goals from Joe Hanks, Danny Wright and Alefe Santos.
Following the game, Cook spoke to Severn Sport about his side’s response to Saturday’s defeat.
“It was the perfect reaction really. I think the players knew how disappointed we were as a coaching staff on Saturday, we all knew the importance of the game,” said Cook.
“We knew to then play Curzon, on a Tuesday night, in the form that they are in and with the teams that they have beaten, we knew it was going to be tough.
If you win on Saturday and only get a point on Tuesday, it’s not the end of the world. But now we have turned it round and claimed three, brilliant points and put in a brilliant performance, I thought,” added Cook.
The win sees City move above Darlington, but crucially moves the Tigers to within four points from safety, with a game in hand over Rushall Olympic – who sit in 20th place in the National League North table.
Cook’s side knew they had a key run of home matches before a trip to Farsley Celtic this weekend, to conclude their pre-Christmas fixtures and with wins over Peterborough Sports and Curzon Ashton in between the defeat to Darlington, Cook admits he is happy with two wins from three matches.
“We definitely would have taken two wins from three beforehand. We’ve been trying to say to the lads that this month we have to try and get 9 points, or 10 points in this month and so on.
There were some games when we first came in, where we looked at some of the teams we were playing against and with the form we were in at that time and it was a struggle to see where you would pick up a point.
So in the last 8 or 9 weeks, it’s been very pleasing as a coaching staff to see the players trying to do what we have asked them to do.
We deviated away from that a little bit on Saturday, to be honest, so we had a few choice words and the players produced the perfect reaction,” said Cook.
Gloucester now face a Festive double header with Hereford after the trip to Farsley on Saturday and Cook has stressed the importance of building momentum – particularly due to the boost it gives to everyone involved with the club.
“It’s very important to keep building momentum,” said Cook. “When you are in a relegation battle, like us, you feel every loss – both psychologically and physically, so to get the three points ahead of key games gives everyone a boost, us, the players, the supporters, the board, the Chairman and it’s lovely to send everyone away happy,” added the City boss.
In the last two fixtures, Gloucester have included new-signing Will Richards on the bench and ahead of a crucial run, Cook admits that he is in the hunt for another attacking option, but despite being close, is yet to seal a deal for a new forward.
“We need a few more in, if I am being honest. We are desperately trying to get hold of another centre forward and unfortunately two of them have turned us down in the last 48 hours or so.
The clubs had agreed deals, but at the last hurdle the move has broken down as the players haven’t wanted to be in a relegation battle.
It’s not that we are disappointed with Wrighty [Danny Wright] or Ben [Beresford], because we think they have done really well. We just need another option, a bit of a difference in player – like we are screaming out for someone who can run in behind and upset defences and that is what we have been looking at,” Cook said.