MARK Cooper says he is walking into a 'committed' Barrow AFC side as the new manager looks ahead to his first season with The Bluebirds.

Former Forest Green Rovers boss Cooper faced Barrow, then managed under David Dunn, last season and was left impressed by The Bluebirds following the 2-2 draw at Holker Street.

He said: "They seem to be a really together, committed group, with no lack of ability in there.

"Forest Green played Barrow last year and I thought they were one of the best football teams under David Dunn, they just got really unlucky.

"At key times they didn’t get the roll of the ball, and David I felt was really unlucky to lose his job, because they played some really good football.

"They’ve got the ability in the squad. If we can add to that to help them, so be it."

Cooper will no doubt be looking to add to his Barrow squad before the 2021/22 season starts.

Last month, Barrow announced that 13 players have seen their playing contracts ended at the club, leaving only 12 players under contract.

Barrow are still waiting on decisions from Brad Barry, Joel Dixon, Kgosi Ntlhe and Jason Taylor after offering them new contracts following the season's finish.

With it now being the off-season, the club is looking to maintain its stadium and new man Cooper is eager to see a 'hostile' atmosphere there next season.

He said: "I want to see this place angry, full, and making it hostile.

"At the ground, there’s loads of work going on and I’ve been impressed."

Joining Cooper at Barrow was Richard Dryden, who is now the club's assistant manager.

With Dryden following the 52-year-old from Forest Green, Cooper has refused to say whether he will be bringing in more backroom staff.

Cooper explained: "Maybe, but not at the moment.

"There’s a lot of good people here already, so I don’t want to come in and dispose of good people. It’s important that we use them."

Cooper and Dryden both left The New Lawn club in April and are now looking to bring success to South Cumbria.

Cooper said: "I’m a long way from home, but it’s a challenge for me. At Christmas, Forest Green were up near the top of the league and people were talking about me being the next manager in the Championship or top of League One. I’m now at Barrow. I’m not angry but I’m looking forward to not proving people wrong, but making a point. I’ve got nothing to prove. I just want to keep going, I want to make this club successful."