FOREST Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper believes Newport-born striker Christian Doidge is good enough to play in the Championship.

Doidge made it 21 goals for the season as he helped relegation-threatened Rovers to a vital 2-0 victory over play-off hopefuls Crawley Town in their last match on February 24.

The former Cwmbran Town and Croesyceiliog front man is setting his sights on his hometown club tomorrow night as the Gloucestershire club head to Newport County AFC looking to increase their six-point buffer above the bottom two.

And, after proving his worth in League Two, Cooper is certain that his star man has the talent to thrive at a higher level.

“I believe he can score 30 goals this season and I’m convinced he’s good enough to go and play in the Championship one day,” he told the Stroud News & Journal.

Doidge has netted 48 goals in just 78 appearances since joining Rovers from Dagenham & Redbridge for £20,000 in June 2016 and is understood to be valued at £2m by the New Lawn outfit.

“It was a good bit of business signing Christian,” Cooper added.

“If you ask defenders in League Two to name the best strikers, Doidge will be right up there.”

Cooper’s men have now won five successive home games but are without a league victory on the road since October.

“I think we can give anyone a game but it’s important that we keep our standards, we do the basic things right, we compete and we fight for everything,” he added.

“And then you’re 20 minutes into a game and you’re still in it, your confidence grows and you give yourself a chance to win it.”

The Rovers boss was frustrated when his side endured a wasted trip to Rodney Parade last month.

The match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch on February 10 and Cooper provided a withering assessment of the playing surface.

“It’s not Newport County’s fault,” he said. “But how you allow rugby teams to play on the same pitch as a Football League team [is beyond me]. And they don’t even play alternative weeks.

“They had a game of rugby on a Friday night before a Football League game and they wonder why there’s a puddle on the pitch.

“It’s horrendous. What do you expect? Sort it out.

“They’ve spent a lot of money on the pitch and it’s common sense – arrange the fixtures at the start of the season so that if the rugby team are at home, the football team are away.

“You might have a chance of getting a game on then, or having a really good pitch.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow night’s rearranged visit, Cooper expects a tough test for his side.

“It’s a difficult place to go at the best of times and I’m sure it will be cold on Tuesday night,” he said.

“We have to stand up to that and we have to stand up to their threats.

“They’ve got a couple of [players who can produce] long throws that they sling in from everywhere and you have to defend it but they’ve got some good players as well.”

Asked about the County clash last month, Doidge told the Argus: “They’ve obviously been doing really well this season but I’m going there to win and I usually score when I play at Rodney Parade so I’m looking forward to it.

“I do upset the County fans and they give me a bit of stick but it’s all good fun."