“It’s nothing short of what these boys deserve” – Forest Green Interim Boss Jimmy Ball praises his side on reaching League Two play-offs

Forest Green secured a League Two play-off spot on Saturday afternoon as they eased past Oldham 3-0 to finish the season in sixth place.

In what was certainly a game of two halves, Rovers turned up the energy and enthusiasm in the second period – a brace from Aaron Collins and a fifth of the season for Odin Bailey proved to be decisive in claiming a vital three points.

Rovers will now face Newport County in the play-offs and know that a trip to Wembley awaits the team that prevails.

Forest Green’s Interim Head Coach Jimmy Ball was full of praise for his team and admitted they deserved to claim a play-off spot.

Speaking to BBC Radio Gloucestershire, he said: “It’s nothing short of what those boys deserve, everyone at the club deserves to be totally honest.

“We’re a very good side, we’re starting to hit a bit of form and that’s the way to come into the play-offs.

“We’re hitting it in the right groove so that’s all I’m thinking about, I’m just delighted for everybody’s who’s coming to the end of a very long, hard season and getting some rewards for their hard work.”

Rovers will face Newport who finished in fifth spot – a team that Forest Green have not lost to during this season’s campaign. Despite that, Ball declared that he isn’t fazed as to who the Nailsworth side play.

“I’m not bothered about who it is – it’s about us,” he said. “If we do what we do well, if we execute, we will be just fine.”

It is unclear as to whether Ball will be offered the chance to extend his stay at the New Lawn next season. However, the temporary boss stated he believes he will take charge of the play-off games and has been in conversation with the club’s owner, Dale Vince.

He said: “We’ve had chats but only to talk about it and to talk about the football and I think we’re both really enjoying ourselves and that’s all it is – I’m not going to put any pressure on him.

“If he feels he wants to change it, he’s the chairman, he owns the club, so that’s his prerogative. I imagine I’ve got the next three games, I guess I’ll have to ask.

“I think what he said to me was ‘you’ve got it until the end of the season’ but this isn’t over yet, we’ve got to go and get to Wembley now.”

Striker Matt Stevens will return to the Gloucestershire side after completing his loan spell at fellow League Two outfit Stevenage.

Despite 23-year-old’s return, Ball admitted that he will be unable to feature for his parent club during the play-off games.

“We won’t have him; we’ve looked into that,” he added. “I think it’s a crazy rule because you’re stopping a player from coming back to his parent club and playing football but it’s the rule so he isn’t available.”

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