Dave Cooke proud of Nantwich players despite FA Cup exit

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Nantwich Town manager Dave Cooke praised his players despite their 5-0 FA Cup 1st round exit at Stevenage.

Cooke believes that the final result was a harsh reflection on the Dabbers’ performance.

“It certainly wasn’t a 5-0 game,” Cooke said.

“We came in at half-time just the one goal down and we still thought we could get back in it. But obviously they’re a very strong team.”

He also expressed his pride at leading his local side into the competition proper.

“I’ve been in the first round before with a couple of other clubs but because Nantwich is my local club and I’ve got a lot of felling for it, so it meant more to me than the other times I’ve been there.

“I just wish we could’ve given the fans that travelled down to Nantwich at least the one goal.”

Although they have five matches in hand on bottom placed Sutton Coldfield Town, Nantwich sit just one place above the drop zone in the Northern Premier League and their boss says it’s important for cup form to be replicated in the league.

“We need to pick up now in the league, we’re near the bottom, there’s quite a few teams that’ve played five or six more games than us.

“I’ve let go a few players this week, there might be one or two comings and goings in the next month.

“We do need to strengthen up front, so that’ll be our priority as well as picking up points in the league.

The manager also thinks his side’s run in the cup has helped make them more determined in their league matches.

“I think the cup run has bred confidence all round, we’ve got a lot of young players that’ll only get better.

“Nantwich have had a few fantastic seasons under Phil Parkinson, we’ve lost one or two important players so it’s a bit of a case of damage limitations this year and hopefully we can finish around mid-table.

“We’ve just got to deal with it, I think if it’s spread out over two or three months we’ll be alright.”

Town travel to Matlock this weekend looking to build on their 3-2 over Witton Albion in their last league fixture. They are hopeful of making the trip with a near full strength squad.

“There’s only Shaun Cook which is obviously a big blow to us. His hamstring’s tight so he wont be risked on Saturday, hopefully he’ll be alright.

“Then we play in the Doodson cup on Tuesday so we’ll give one or two of the fringe players a game to keep them sharp.”

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