Richard Cooper is an ex Nottingham Forest youngster who had three appearances for the Reds between 1998 and 2001 before carving out a career at York City and in the lower leagues before regularly featuring in Non-League football with local clubs like Alfreton Town and Eastwood Town to name a couple you should know.
The 41 year-old former England youth international and coach of Mansfield Town has been asked by his bosses (the Radford’s) in charge to take care of looking after the first-team following the dismissal of Graham Coughlan on Tuesday night.
Cooper replaces Coughlan as interim Mansfield Town manager and has the immediate task of setting up a side to face Walsall at the weekend with a first win of the season very much on the cards for the ‘new’ man in charge.
The temporary gaffer stated ahead of his first game at the One Call Stadium tomorrow “I think it’s all about the players at this moment in time for us. We have to build their confidence and try to put some self-belief in them.”
“There are good players in that dressing room. We’ll just try to get the best out of those lads and get a positive result on Saturday.”
Cooper said “I’m sat here because someone has lost their job, which is not nice. I’ve been asked to do a job now to try and steady the ship.”
“That’s our only thought now, to try and get a positive performance on Saturday. We’ve looked back over Walsall’s recent games and we’re trying to prepare the players in the best way we can for Saturday.”
Mansfield striker Nicky Maynard stated on Graham Coughlan’s departure “The lads feel responsible for what’s happened. Results haven’t been good enough and the lads haven’t put the performances in.”
“We have a fresh start now – we need to wipe the slate clean and go again. We have to remain positive, brave and stick together.”
The Stags face Walsall tomorrow but will do so without Ryan Sweeney who is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus, Mal Benning is also out as is Corey O’Keefe both finishing isolation periods whilst Joe Riley and Ollie Clarke have longer term injuries.
Walsall are currently 14th in the division whilst the Stags are 22nd and a place above the relegation zone. A win for Mansfield will take them on to eight points and away from the drop zone at least whilst a defeat could see them fall into the bottom two of English football’s fourth tier for the first time this season.
Kick Off on Saturday is 3pm at the One Call Stadium with the match available to watch on iFollow.
*Main image @mansfieldtownfc Richard Cooper looking forward to his first game in charge of Mansfield.