FOREST GREEN boss Mark Cooper lauded the impact of his transfer window signings as Rovers climbed out of the League Two relegation zone.

Ruben Reid’s sumptuous second half strike on his debut, ended a five-game losing streak for Cooper’s side against an out of sorts Port Vale.

Cooper swooped for striker Reid from Exeter City 24 hours earlier and added defenders Farrend Rawson recruited from Derby County and Gavin Gunning, with the latter making the switch from Port Vale.

Cooper said: “The boys who came in have been on our radar for a while and we did everything we could to persuade them to come and obviously the difficulty is we are bottom of the league and we are asking them to leave clubs that do not look like they are in trouble, but fair play to the chairman he helped us do that.

“I thought Reid and Christian Doidge struck up and understanding and that is a sign of things to come.

“We looked really solid all through the team and kept probably one of the most potent strikers in the league (Tom Pope) quite today and that is testament to the boys at the back and the goalkeeper,” added Cooper.

“This is a really big win against a side who have had some really good results.”

Having been sent off on New Year’s Day, Cooper viewed the first half from the boardroom and admitted he is likely to continue this way of viewing his side.

He added: “I watched the second half from the boardroom last week and I really enjoyed it,” admitted Cooper.

“It took all the emotion out of it and enabled me to concentrate without any noise and emotion and make changes with full concentration. I wanted to do it again today, to get a perspective and be really precise with my points at half-time.”

Meanwhile, Port Vale boss Neil Aspin issued an apology to his fans after the defeat and insisted his side have gone back to square one.

“There are no excuses, we were very poor, we didn’t create anything. After all the good work that we did against Coventry and Luton, and most of the game against Notts County, we have gone back to square one today.

“So, it is very disappointing. I didn’t expect the game today would be any easier than any other game because I know what the league is like and how the games go. I have always said we can win or lose to anybody in this division, and if we are not at our best then we certainly won’t pick up points.

“But there are no excuses. I apologise to the supporters who made the journey. They deserve a better performance than that. I think over the last few months they have seen better performances but today wasn’t good enough."

Watch Mark Cooper deliver his post-match verdict to sports editor Ash Loveridge.