FOREST Green Rovers boss Mark Cooper had words of praise for Southend United following his side’s 1-0 win at Roots Hall.

Rovers substitute Jake Young bagged the only goal of the game in the second half.

But Cooper, who spent time on loan with the Shrimpers in 1990, felt the hosts made it tough for his team to triumph.

“Fair play to Southend, they made it difficult for us,” said Cooper.

“They’ve been struggling with some issues but they won away at Walsall in their last game which takes some doing and they had some decent players on the pitch.”

However, Rovers were still able to triumph despite producing what Cooper felt was a nervy performance after going four games without a win.

“You saw the tension in the players after the last few results and the boys knew they had to win,” said Cooper.

“I thought you could see that and it was a nervous performance.”

But a double change proved decisive as Aaron Collins crossed for fellow substitute Young to fire home.

“Those two have an ability to turn in the middle of the pitch without touching the ball and turn defence into attack really quickly,” said Cooper.

“I felt there was space there to hurt Southend and it led to the goal.

“We should have killed it off just after that with another brilliant chance but we’re in a really good position now.”