Mark Cooper guided Forest Green to the top of the League Two table with a 3-1 win over Crawley but remained tight-lipped about his link to managerless Championship outfit Millwall.
Cooper is among the contenders for the Millwall job but the Rovers head coach responded curtly when asked about the vacancy.
He said: “I haven’t got any thoughts. You’ve seen in recent weeks, Flynny (Michael Flynn) at Newport and Duffo (Michael Duff) at Cheltenham being linked to jobs, it happens.”
Cooper was delighted to get the three points and breathed a sigh of relief as his father Terry, the former Leeds and England player, had made the trip from Spain to watch his son’s team.
Cooper said: “I was glad we won – I’d have got a thick ear otherwise if we didn’t, so it made him happy today.”
Rovers were at it from the get-go against Gabriele Coffi’s out-of-sorts Crawley.
They nosed ahead when Matty Stevens and Joseph Mills traded passes and Crawley keeper Glenn Morris upended the advancing Mills.
Morris got a hand to Mills’ penalty but the taker kept his composure to thump the free ball home, handing his side a 24th-minute lead.
Rovers made it 2-0 after 51 minutes. Stevens and Carl Winchester combined for Aaron Collins to bury his strike into the bottom corner for his second goal in as many games.
Three minutes later Rovers went 3-0 up as Crawley’s Panutche Camara flattened Ebou Adams in the box and Mills stepped up to smash in the penalty for his fifth goal of the season.
Crawley grabbed a lifeline after 59 minutes as Rovers conceded for the first time in six games. Reece Grego-Cox arrowed a ball into the box for Mason Bloomfield to fire beyond Lewis Thomas.
Rovers had chances to increase their lead with Winchester and Liam Shephard going close.
Cooper added: “I enjoyed the game and we were very aggressive in our play, lots of chances, but disappointing thing for me was the goal – it was a disappointing goal to give away, which made the second half less enjoyable, but we had to concede a goal sometime after five successive clean sheets.”
Cooper reserved high praise for referee Matthew Smith. He said: “I thought the referee was outstanding – the best I’ve seen – I think he must understand football
“We’ve beaten a very good team that have had some amazing results this season. We showed maturity and were measured and pressed and played some really good football.”
Pragmatic Crawley boss Cioffi felt his side were naive when gifting Rovers two penalties as the Red Devils suffered back-to-back defeats.
He said: “The penalties were clumsy and soft, so I’m disappointed.
“Forest Green have a good manager, but I felt they didn’t create many clear-cut chances during the game.
“I was aiming for three points today for our 50-point goal, but we must regroup and go again, but we will go back to basics and refresh our minds.
“It’s important to work and what we have done today wasn’t good enough. We need to support the players and work hard.”