Sport

Reds will get stronger: Cook

PAUL Cook is one of the closest friends of Stanley boss John Coleman - and he knows the manager will bounce back stronger after the lessons of the last few weeks.
PAUL Cook

PAUL Cook is one of the closest friends of Stanley boss John Coleman - and he knows the manager will bounce back stronger after the lessons of the last few weeks.

The Reds have struggled in their last four games - missing chances and giving away late goals - and the Stanley chief has been unable to hide his disappointment to the players, the press and the fans as their play-off hopes have taken a severe knock.

However, Stanley midfielder Cook says it is important to remember how far the Reds have come this season - and that it isn't over yet.

"John is obviously disappointed after the matches, he is a passionate man about his football and he finds it hard to hide how he feels."

"It is difficult because we are so close to the play-offs and yet we are so far away as well."

"We have thrown away points, we have been in charge of games, had it in our own hands, and then we have thrown it away. We have lost seven points."

"John is an intelligent man and although he finds it hard straight after games he knows a couple of days later that the players don't mean to do it. We are only human beings and these things happen."

"But I think because of John's character, he will get stronger and stronger. The more times he is knocked down, the stronger he will come back. He just wants us to win so much."

Cook admits he is at a loss as to why the Reds have gone off the boil as they have struggled late on in the last three games - losing one and drawing two of their Conference clashes.

"I don't know what has happened in the last three games. Using the excuse of us being part-time is a cop out because we are as fit as any teams. And it is not pressure as we have shown we can deal with that in the FA Cup games.

"We just need to work harder in training, practise a few things and talk a lot more."

"The majority of the lads haven't played at this level before and it is all new to them."

"But if someone had said at the start of the season, we would be where we are and we would have had such a good FA Cup run then John would have been manager of the year."

"It is phenomenal what we have done."

"Sometimes it is important to remember how far we have come. Now if we don't get into the play-offs we will be disappointed but it has been a good season no matter what - and it could still get better."