"I'm really proud of the lads" - Cooper delighted by Town's togetherness and team spirit after hard-fought win at Dagenham and Redbridge

Assistant manager Andy Cooper praised Town's character and togetherness after they beat Dagenham and Redbridge 1-0.
Andy CooperAndy Cooper
Andy Cooper

Andrew Oluwabori's superb second-half goal earned Halifax their fourth consecutive win but they had to work very hard for it, surviving a lot of late pressure to hang on for the victory.

"I'm really proud of the lads to dig a result out," Cooper told the Courier.

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"It was always going to be tough, they've been playing well recently, we've done a lot of research on them, they've been scoring goals, had a big win and got the late equaliser in the last game so their tails were up.

"I'm just really pleased the lads were resilient, dug in, they were absolutely first-class to a man and worked hard to get the three points.

"At this stage of the season it's not always going to be the prettiest type of games but it's about being togeher, grinding out results and performances and I thought we did that well today against a team who are playing well at the moment."

The Daggers were the better side in the first-half and ended the game stronger as well, but couldn't break down a resilient Halifax.

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"They created multiple chances in the second-half, obviously Sam's had a superb game and does what he does best which is dig out clean sheets and give confidence to the lads in-front of him with coming for crosses and long-throws, having good handling in the box to not give away any seconds or loose balls," said Cooper.

"We had that good spell early in the second-half where we looked our free-flowing best and created some chances.

"When you don't extend the lead, we know a team like Dagenham will come on strong and risk more at the top end of the pitch, which they did and they created some good chances.

"On the balance of play I'm sure they'll feel they could have taken something out of the game but we've defended our box brilliantly all the way through the team and at this stage, that's what it's about, that togetherness.

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"We're patching up players, we're a bit wounded in certain areas with injuries, everybody's suffering from it, but what you need to rely on is the lads stick to a game-plan.

"There's going to be times when you suffer in games and when it doesn't go for you, but the y thing is you stick togetherm you galvanise and you get a result and that's what we did.

"It would have been more comfortable if we'd taken a second opportunity and give us a bit of a cushion because you know they're going to put pressure on, sending the keeper up as well.

"So I'm just absolutely delighted for everyone.

"When we had our backs to the wall, our away fans, who've been brilliant all season, really got behind us and you feel that.

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"We're penned in, there's balls going in the box and we're clearing them but they're getting right behind the lads and willing us on.

"We could feel the support from them today, which was brilliant."

Town's winner came in a much-improved start to the second-half from The Shaymen.

"We played into midfield a lot better, more comfortable, we were able to get the nall to stick higher up the pitch and bring the wingers into play a lot better," Cooper said.

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"Then we were able to get up the pitch and have a spell in their half, we had more quality in their half to create the chances.

"It was a shame we weren't able to continue that but that's the ebb and flow of the game.

"We're not perfect, we know that, but what we are is honest and hard-working and anyone who came to support us today will know that we dug a result out and fought right til the end."

Cooper said long-range shots are something Town have been workingf hard on to improve.

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"Over the summer it was something we identified, our shots from distance, it's something we work on and that the players work on themselves, they take themselves away and do additional stuff beyond the coaching, they do the extras," he said.

"You could probably reel off half-a-dozen now, strikes outside the box, but that one had absolute quality, precision, power and able to shape it in and the keeper didn't move at all.

"I was pleased for him, a really good finish."

It's now four wins in a row for Town.

"We're just focused on the next opportunity for us to get a win," Cooper said.

"There's no other talk apart from Bromley next week.

"We've got to get back to being us, do our prep well, look at who's in form and who's available.

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"It's been a really difficult spell the Saturday-Tuesday and we were fully prepped for Tuesday so we almost lost a day there in training.

"We don't look too much at the past, we just look straight ahead to next week because we want to go to Bromey with the away support behind us again and give a performance as organised and hard-working as today was, just hopefully with a bit more quality to finish the game off."

On the subtitutions of Adan George and Florent Hoti, Cooper said: "Adan's had a lot of minutes and Rob's on his way back, we just felt that Rob had an opportunity for the ball to stick into him a bit more.

"A different type of nine. Adan's played every minute bar coming off in the 72nd minute recently, and he's had some tightness as well with cramp, but it was more in introducing Rob into the game and getting him an opportunity.

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"Flo has been coming back from his injury as well so it's just managing his minutes and giving others the opportunity they need and hopefully pushing on to try and grab the shirt."

On why Kane Thomson-Sommers was dropped to the bench for the game, Cooper said: "Just tactical. We're mindful of the small squad we carry and making sure we manage it the best we can to ensure we get people sharp and ready for the games.

"But he'll definitely be in contention for next week."

Jordan Keane missed the game due to a knee injury.

"He tweaked his knee on the start of training on Thursday so wasn't able to take any more part in training," Cooper said.

"The preparation, planning and delivery of training is the same, there's no huge variation, we didn't do anything you wouldn't expect but it was just innocuous, he'll need to be assessed further.

"We also took some other knocks, bruises and bumps that day as well but were able to get the lads rolled out and to a man they were a credi to the clyub in how they performed."