'The lads are clearly working hard for him' – Forest Green Rovers boss Rob Edwards praises Antony Sweeney's job as caretaker at Hartlepool United
Forest Green Rovers manager Rob Edwards expects Hartlepool United to be ‘full of confidence’ heading into Saturday's match at The Suit Direct Stadium (3pm kick-off).
Pools have lost their last two matches in League Two and saw their unbeaten home record end at the hands of Newport County last Friday.
But a midweek FA Cup replay win at League One Wycombe Wanderers has provided Antony Sweeney’s side with a timely confidence boost going into the match with the League Two leaders. And the Rovers boss is expecting a tough challenge this weekend.
“They’ll be full of confidence from [the win at Wycombe],” Edwards said.
"Richie [Kyle, Forest Green assistant] went to watch the game and they did fantastically well to come through that game after a long journey. They’ll be on a high and their home form is very good as well.
"We know we’ll be in for a difficult afternoon on Saturday, but we’ve prepared very well for it. We’re up against a team who are confident, who play a similar shape – another team who play with three-at-the-back – and they have good players.
"They’ve got goalscorers, good wide players and people who can handle the ball at the back and in midfield. They’re a good team.
“From the games that we’ve seen, they’re certainly a positive team who look to win games. I know both teams on Saturday will look to take all three points.”
Forest Green have the second best away record in League Two this season and are unbeaten on the road.
"We’ve got some good players,” Edwards added. “The lads have worked incredibly hard. They’ve stuck together when they’ve needed to, they’ve been brave, they’ve defended well and we’ve had a good balance of defending and attacking.
"We’ve gone to some difficult places and we’ve shown lots of resilience and character, which are two things that we’ll have to show again on Saturday.”
The Forest Green squad travelled up to the North East on Friday, training at Barnsley on the way up in the afternoon.
Saturday’s match will be their first taste of league action this month. Their previous League Two outing was a 1-1 draw at Bradford City on October 30.
They have since been beaten 3-2 by St. Albans City in the FA Cup and beat Walsall 2-0 in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Meanwhile, Pools have picked up two wins, a draw and a defeat in Antony Sweeney’s spell as interim manager so far.
“[Sweeney] has done very well," Edwards told Gloucestershire Live.
“The result at Wycombe in midweek was exceptional. To go and do that to a team who are doing very well in the league above shows that the players are with him and working really hard for him.
"I’ve watched the Newport game as well and they were really unlucky to lose it with the last kick of the match. He’ll be pleased with those performances.
"The lads are clearly working hard for him. They’ve got a good team and he’s been able to maintain a lot of the good work which was happening before, which is the sensible thing to do and he can make his own little tweaks when he sees fit.
"In the short period of time he’s been there, he’s done well.”