Forest Green Rovers claimed a narrow 1-0 victory against League Two strugglers Southend on Tuesday evening as they moved up to fourth in League Two.

Mark Cooper’s second half substitutions proved pivotal as Jake Young netted his fourth league goal of the season.

The 19-year-old found space in the opposition’s box and latched onto a ball after fellow substitute Aaron Collin’s superb run.

Forest Green boss Cooper hailed the impacts his switches had on the match.

Speaking to the club’s media, the Rovers boss said: “Those two (Young and Collins) have an ability to be able to turn in the middle of the pitch without touching the ball and turn defence into attack in a short space of time.

“I think we’ve got some flair in terms of players that can take people on and run with the ball; Odin (Bailey), Aaron (Collins), Jake Young can all run with the ball and those players in tight games are key.”

Having not won any of their previous four games in all competitions coming into the match, claiming three points against the Shrimpers was vital and Cooper felt that the pressure impacted his side.

“I think the boys knew they had to win and get three points and you could see that in their performance,” he added. “I think it led to a really nervous performance.”

Before the match, Southend sat rock bottom of the League Two standings and on paper it looked an easy win for Forest Green but the Rovers boss was quick to dismiss this idea.

He said: “Fair play to Southend, they’ve been struggling with a few issues but you look at their last result and they won one-nil away at Walsall which takes some doing.

“We knew it would be a tough game, every game is tough and they made it difficult for us and they have every right to do that.

“There’s no easy games in this league, it’s a grind.”

Rovers next face a daunting test as they welcome league leaders Newport County to the Innocent New Lawn on Tuesday.

Cooper knows that this will be a test of his side’s ability but his eyes remain firmly on the prize.

“We want to win the game,” he said. “We want to try and win every game and every team poses a different threat and Newport have shown with their results so far that they’re a really good team and we’ll have to play well to win.”