Grimsby Town’s joint bosses, Rob Scott and Paul Hurst, were naturally delighted to have secured the first win under their management at Mansfield last tuesday.
It appears that their prefered playing system was finally taken on board by the players. This was clearly demonstrated by a comfortable winning margin, and the first clean sheet in 18 games.
The move to blood some of the club’s promising youngsters has not only been fully vindicated, but it has also been very popular with the fans.
Barrow are currently five points clear of the relegation zone. After a good spell of results recently, the Bluebirds came a cropper at Newport last saturday, losing 5-0.
In a bid to generate increased support, as they battle for the points needed to guarantee a stay in this division, the Barrow board have issued the following statement :
“Saturday`s game is arguably the most important in the three seasons since our promotion to the Blue Square Bet Premier, with victory almost certain to guarantee us an extended tenure at this level.
“We understand that with the recession money is tight for fans and gates this season have been a good 300-400 down on the first two seasons in this division.
“The club have, though, won more home league games this season than in either of those two previous seasons”.
Town boss Rob Scott talked to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph about the win at Field Mill :
‘We are learning more about the players and their work ethic with each game. I thought we did well at Mansfield, in control for much of the game, and defended well when we had to.
‘In any game, you never have 99 per cent of it. There will always be spells for the opposition and it’s how you deal with that. It’s something we’ve had problems with but not on Tuesday.
On playing the younger players, he added :
‘We threw a few young lads in there and you see their enthusiasm, you hope it rubs off on others.
‘I thought Charlie did well, as did Andi Thanoj. They weren’t just thrown in on a whim, we’ve spoken to Robbie Stockdale and Adam Smith about them and watched them in a couple of Youth and Reserve games.
‘We also watch the Youth team train when the first-team have finished.
‘Of course, they are not the finished article but if there’s talent there to work with, we can work with them to try and make them improve, and they will travel again this weekend’.
On tomorrow’s opponents he said :
‘It will be a stern test because Barrow are not out of the woods yet. It’s not going to be an end-of-season stroll with little at stake.
‘Paul and I watched them play at Mansfield last week and they battled well.
‘They are a tenacious, hard-working team and showed that on the night when they came from 1-0 down to draw and they could have won all three points. So they won’t roll over and we have to go there prepared to battle’.
The Bluebirds’ joint boss, Darren Sheridan, is available to play, but only because of the actions of his partner, Dave Bayliss during that Newport match. Sheridan explained to the North West Evening Mail :
“I was getting very frustrated, and Dave brought me off because he thought I might get sent off.
“I`d got booked for my first incident in the game. I was angry at that, and the way we were playing. We were conceding goals, not stopping crosses, it was a stroll in the park for Newport.
“Dave noticed I was getting agitated, so I`m glad he took me off, because it would have made a bad day even worse if I`d got sent off as well”.
Barrow AFC Team News:
Joint boss, 43 year old Darren Sheridan, is set to take his place in midfield alongside Richie Baker.
Fellow boss Dave Bayliss will select either Paul Smith or James Owen to join them in the centre of the park.
Sheridan`s replacement at Newport, Robin Hulbert, suffered a calf injury late in that game and so is unlikely to play any part against the Mariners.
Player to watch: Gregg Blundell
The 33 year old striker began his career with Tranmere, coming through their Youth system.
Gregg has played for Chester City (twice), but is best known for his spells at Doncaster and Darlington.
He joined Barrow in november 2009 on loan, and signed permanently with the Bluebirds in the following january.
Grimsby Town Team News:
The young guns are expected to feature once again.
Andi Thanoj and Charlie I’Anson are worthy of retaining their places, and their colleagues from the successful Youth side, Sam Mulready and Dale Southwell should again be in the squad.
Striker Rob Duffy is available again, having been ineligible at Mansfield in midweek.
Definitely out are Lee Ridley (calf) and Bryan Hughes (achilles), whilst a late decision will be made about Rob Eagle’s ankle injury.
Player to watch: Charlie I’Anson
The 17 year old defender made a terrific debut last tuesday, capping the occasion with his first goal for the Mariners.
Helping Town to a long awaited clean sheet, Charlie established a solid partnership with Scott Garner in the centre of the back four, which, between them, had an average age of just 20 years.
Match Facts & Stats
The reverse league fixture :
Sat 20 Nov 2010, Blundell Park, 3pm
Attendance : 3,225
Grimsby 1 (Atkinson 66)
Barrow 1 (Chadwick 61)
25 April (home) v Altrincham – 3pm