Mark Cooper spoke to the BBC Somerset’s Ian Randall following Yeovil’s 1-0 win at Bath City last night. Here’s what he had to say.

Ian Randall: Well, Mark, predictably, I suppose it was tight and decided by a set piece.

Mark Cooper: Yeah, it was a very typical local derby. Tight game, loads of mistakes. I think Sunday drained us emotionally, physically as well. The injury to Whittle causes a problem. We then had to change shape a couple of times. I thought Bath were really good – stretched us. But, the desire, the, the togetherness and the commitment of the whole group tonight was what got us through.

IR: You said that you were drained by Sunday, but actually you finished the stronger.

MC: Yeah, we needed a spark, and we got a spark. It was a couple of balls that flashed across the goal that we should have scored from. And then eventually we got one didn’t we? And then we started to come on top and play a little bit then and [play] a little bit more like us. But listen, it’s never going to be easy to win promotions or win things. There’s always times in the season when you have to really dig in, the weather’s changed, it’s cold, the pitches are starting to get heavy. You have to dig in and we did that.

IR: Michael Smith made an important clearance too at at 0-0 from Elliot Frear’s shot and at that point. That was where Bath started to look as if they were running in treacle, a bit. That was when the balance started to tip, I thought.

MC: Yeah, our players just get through it. They keep going, they keep grinding, got some real warriors out there. Alex Fisher coming in for his first game. He’s played 90 minutes – amazing. He played right wing for 30 then. I’ve watched Bath, they’re a really good team. The managers done a terrific job. They’ve got some really exciting players. I thought their right winger was outstanding. And credit to Jerry [Gill], they’re a really good team and they gonna have a really good season.

IR: How is Whittle?

MC: Whittle’s alright. We thought he felt something in his calf, but hopefully it’s not too bad and it’ll be OK for Saturday.

IR: Some of the sides that won last night might have looked at tonight as being a tricky sort of game for you, but you’ve you’ve stepped away from the pack again and got the gap back up to six [points].

MC: I’m sure they did. And like we all do “they might win there, they might lose there.” I’m sure we all do that. And you know, I’m sure that would have waited a few tonight that we’ve we’ve managed to nick a win. But yeah, we know we gotta be better, of course, but we can’t play brilliant every week about a couple of weeks we’ve been a little bit hit and miss, but we bounced back with a win in front of the brilliant away support. [It] is incredible for for the level.

IR: You used the word ‘nicked’. Do you feel you’ve nicked it then?

MC: I think if you’re always in the game, you’ve always got a chance to win it. Think it was pretty even, there wasn’t loads of chances. I think we had more chances in the second-half and should score a couple. Smudge clears one off the line so could have gone either way.

IR: And now the little matter of a 300 mile round trip back to southeast London to go to Dartford on Saturday. How how awkward will that Be?

MC: No, [we’re] looking forward to it. Looking forward to it, every game we we take a massive following with us. We’re looking forward to every game. Players will get a day off tomorrow to recover and then we’ll train on Friday and make sure we’re really ready for the game.

IR: Were there meaningful celebrations at the end because in a sense, both the squad you and the fans knew what this meant?

MC: I think you should celebrate when you win a game like that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong. We’re together, we celebrated together in front of a brilliant away following. So we make no bones about celebrating like that.


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