"They've absolutely worked their socks off for us" - Cooper praises Town's character after hard-fought win over Woking

Assistant manager Andy Cooper praised FC Halifax Town's resilience and character after their 2-1 home win against Woking.
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It's now three wins on the spin for Town thanks to goals from Luke Summerfield and Florent Hoti.

Cooper felt The Shaymen did enough to deserve the win.

"Both teams will feel they had chances, us more in the first-half, not able to capitalise on a couple of breakaways," he said.

Andy CooperAndy Cooper
Andy Cooper
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"Really good play to get in the box and could potentially have been a couple more goals up with the chances we had.

"But over the balance of play, yeah, I think 2-1's a fair result.

"We know you have to dig in, it's tough, they launch the balls onto you and you've got to deal with the quality they've got in the box.

"But ultimately, we stood up to the test well. Credit to the lads, it's a tough schedule.

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"They've absolutely worked their socks off for us today off the back of a really tough run of games, especially here with the surface, it's difficult, it's sapping, it's tough to play on.

"Woking get to do it once, we have it as our home ground, it's hard work, but I think to a man, and those coming off the bench, everyone's absolutely grafted relentlessly to get us over the line, which is pleasing.

"It probably wasn't ever going to be the prettiest later on in the game, we know that.

"We'd like a bit more control but I think on the balance of play we feel we were worthy of the three points."

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It was another performance of two halves from Town, who impressed in the first 45 before Woking got control of the game after the restart.

"Gritty I'd say in the second-half, probably not as fluid as we could have been and we wanted, but they made a tactical change at half-time to go with two strikers and a number ten close to them, and that pus us on the back foot a bit in terms of getting control of the game," Cooper said.

"We probably didn't exploit the wide areas as much as we could have done on that change, but we were dogged at times, we were resilient to some of the balls that were thrown up against us in the box and the physicality of the game.

"We just felt we could have killed it off a bit earlier and had a more comfortable last 25 minutes but you've got to credit Woking, they're a side who are under a new manager and

a complete change of style.

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"They've picked up results way from home, they've played well, they're a team who'll take points off others higher up in the league towards the end of the season.

"We had a really positive start and were on the front-foot and aggressive, but the lads are absolutely shot, they're out on their feet.

"Credit to the medical and sports science staff that get them patched up and get them going again because it's a relentless schedule.

"Most of the lads in this league do it and our lads fully committed to it today and those lung-busting runs towards the end to get back and defend your box is what we want in a Halifax Town shirt."

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When quizzed on Town's recent pattern of encouraging first halves followed by underwhelming second halves, Cooper said: "The opposition changed style, made a sub and changed tactics, so that has an impact.

"The pitch for sure, for all the hard work that goes into the ground, everybody's fully aware of the situation, that it does cut up, it's heavy., but it's the same for both teams.

"And the relentless schedule that teams have, us included, but it's no excuse, we want to try and be better, we want to try and control the game a bit more like we did in the first-half.

"But if you're not going to do that, the minimum we've got to then do is graft and work hard, and make sure that, to a man, we put in a performance worthy of the shirt and I think that's what we did."

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Hoti had an impressive game on his return to the side after a shoulder injury.

"It's a natural position for him as a number ten, there's competition for places in there which is great," Cooper said.

"I thought he was creative, could have had another in the first-half as well.

"He was bright but he's had a long spell out and you're worrying in the latter stages of the game whether he's got the energy to keep going with the conditions and the pitch worsening.

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"But he's contributed a lot, as has everyone really to a man.

"We've stood up to the test well and maybe these are the types of moments where it's not all the pretty side of the game that the coaches love to talk about, it's about getting back into shape, first and second contacts, being organised from set-pieces and making sure we win our duels, which we did."

On whether the second-half changes that saw Jack Evans, Adan George and Max Wright all taken off were down to fatigue, Cooper said: "Yeah, and I think (getting) substitutes on the pitch that we think can have an impact.

"Every single one was based around the needs of the game as opposed to anything to do with performance, just all around fatigue, making sure we had legs and energy higher up the pitch and we had defensive cover.

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"Jack Evans was on a yellow card up against the young winger, so making sure we protected him with Ryan Galvin and Angelo Cappello being out injured, making sure we kept him off a second yellow and bringing someone on with quality like Adam Senior who can sure things up and can go into wing-back when Jack Hunter came in to give us height in the box to deal with their duels and first contacts.

"It helped us with balls coming into the box, with set plays but also helped us stretch them and run in-behind when we won it back, which we did towards the end of the game, and then it was managing the moments whether we slowed the game down or we go for the third which kills off the game."

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