Oppositions View - Grimsby Town

Last updated : 31 January 2008 By Gary Moss
How do you assess your sides recent form?

Results wise they are doing really well. They are unbeaten in eight and just one defeat twelve. They are yet to have suffered defeat also in 2008. Obviosuly they are getting the results but in the last two or three games they have been pretty lacklustre to be honest. They won on Tuesday but probably
Clarke...Wonner in midweek
deserved to get beat. They needed a last minute equalsier on Saturday against Shrewsbury in a game that they probably didn't deserve a point. The week before at Dagenham, I suppose it can be excused but on a poor pitch and in poor conditions they didn't play very well either. So while they're getting the results, they've really dipped in recent games.

And they must be delighted to have broke into the top half nonetheless?

Three or four months ago they would have dreamt of that sort of thing. They were looking at relegation - they were down there with the Lincoln's, Mansfield's and Dagenham's of the division but the manager changed systems to a 5-3-2 system with wing-backs. He has brought in a couple of lads, Rob Atkinson and Sam Herd from Barnsley and Doncaster. They have boosted the defence a brought a bit more youth to the side. Thse changes seem to have spurred them on and after the run they have had there is now talk of the play-offs but I think that is a bit premature. They are going in the right direction but they are still a little bit unpredictable. They are into the top half now but there are no gurantees because this little bit of luck they have been having could dry up and they might slip back down. It is difficult to tell.

What do you put the sides poor start down to?

Alan Buckley likes to play a passing game of football and what he was doing at the start of the season was packing the midfield in a 4-5-1 formation. They were playing some decent football and creating quite a lot of chances but the bottom line is that there was no-one to put the ball in the back of the net.
Buckley...Splitting fans views
They were playing Isiah Rankin up front at the time and he couldn't hit the proverbial cow's backside. He missed loads of chances and even the players who were coming in were not converting either so they started the season badly because they were not taking their chances. Things are going for them now and they are picking up results.

How much pressure was Alan Buckley actually under during this time of poor form?

From the fans a fair bit. The supporters split. One side are still very fond of him for what he did back in the 90's when he took them to Wembley twice and won both games. They are still very loyal to him for that. The other half think that he is past it and believe it was a mistake to bring him back and so they were giving him quite a lot of stick whereas the others were saying give him time. He was under pressure from certain sections of the fans but not from the club. I think he has got absolute 100 per cent backing from certainly the board and the chairman. He was under pressure but not an overhwelming amount. Right now you havr to back him because they've lost one in twelve and in the long-term I think he can do a good job.

Who is your danger man?

Two weeks ago I would have said a lad called Danny North who is a centre f
North...Off the boil but still a danger
orward and the top scorer now. But his last three games have just been non-existent. They played Chesterfield earlier in the month and he absolutely destroyed them. But he has been completely anonymous in the last three games. But he is still probably the man who could cause problems.

Who else should we look out for?

The left wing back Nick Hegarty sticks quite well to his defensive responsibilities but by trade he is a left winger so he gets forward well and he has got quite a sharp cross on him so if County let him play and adavnce he could be a danger as well. We are missing Ciaran Toner because he is the club playmaker. When he is not there you do notice.

What did you make of the sides last meeting on the opening day of the season (1-1 draw at Meadow Lane)

It was two sides who really had quite big expectations for the season but didn't really get kicked off. Grimsby got an early goal through Bennett and that should have sent them on to an opening day victory but they didn't find their rhythm and County were the same. Steve Thompson was banned from the touchline that day and I can remember him going bazerk at some of his players so it wasn't the start either side wanted. It was probably a fair result in the end though.

What have you made of Notts' season so far apart from that game?

They are geading towards the wrong end of the table but it is one of those loeagues this season that you can lose a few games and is difficult to pick
Fenton...Tough test to face Lee
morale up. I don't think they are relegation threatened, it may be only six points but I would not expect them to be down there at the end of the season.

Who do you see as Notts' danger man?

Jason Lee is a constant threat. For his physical threat more than anything, he will have a test against Nick Fenton. On the first game of the season, Lee won two thirds of the headers. He is not the most talented of players but a real danger.

Where can you see Grimsby finishing this season?

I think a top half finish would be good to be honest. They may make the top ten at a push. But I think the play-offs are a step too far. I would say 10th to 15th.

How about Notts?

I'd probably say 15th to 20th.

Bolland...In contention
What sort of encounter are you expecting?

Grimsby will close the space down in the final third an awful lot. It could well be quite condensed in there particularly if County are going to be pumping balls up to Jason Lee. I think it will be a physical battle. But width could be the key. The side who makes the most of the wide players could well prevail.

Team News?

Paul Bolland has had an injection after pulling out on Tuesday and they are waiting on a reaction to that. Toner could be on the bench at best. The team shoudl remain unchanged from midweek.


I think a draw would be a right result. County are looking a little bit brighter. There could be a goal either side in it.