Grimsby’s dismal run of late has seen their faint play-off hopes disappear.
Consigned to another season in non-league football, all that is left in the remaining seven matches is for the new joint managers to assess the players currently at the club, with their minds focused on the retained list that they will produce at the end of May.
Kidderminster have enjoyed a great season so far, and arrive at Blundell Park unbeaten in their last 13 matches.
Despite a five point deduction in January, the Harriers are engaged in a terrific battle with Fleetwood Town for 5th place in the League, and so a play-off place.
Manager Steve Burr, a Grimsby target during their recent search for a new manager, has galvanised his squad for the final push, although they will have to keep an eye on the late charge being made by York City.
Town boss Paul Hurst has done the talking ahead of the game, after joint manager Rob Scott had done the honours (in emphatic style) after last saturday’s game.
Paul told the Evening Telegraph :
‘Kidderminster play more of a 4-3-3 but even then they are very fluid within that, they change personnel around on the pitch. But you can’t get too bogged down with whose playing where for them. We want our lads to concentrate on themselves.
‘Prior to the Tamworth game, there seemed to be a lot of worrying going on in our dressing room about what they were going to do. It’s fine being prepared but they shouldn’t get fearful.
‘Ultimately, if they go out and do their job, then I think the squad is good enough to beat Kidderminster. But it all comes down to that grey matter in between the ears.
‘Being honest, at the minute it’s wait and see what we’ll get out there. We aren’t going into games brimming with confidence. I don’t think we can really fault them for effort and commitment at the training ground.
‘But ultimately it’s what happens when they go out on the pitch on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening. That’s when it matters and they have to produce and at present they haven’t quite done that’.
Addressing the Town supporters, Paul added :
‘We haven’t decided how we are going to go on Saturday yet.
‘It’s the first of three back on home turf now so hopefully we can see them respond to last week.
‘It’s a difficult time for the fans to see the position in the league and the season petering out from their point of view. It would be great if we can give them something to cheer about’.
Harriers’ boss Steve Burr will not be reflecting on Grimsby’s approach for his services, as he remains focused on his own club, and the number of injuries in his squad. He told the Kidderminster Shuttle :
“It doesn`t add anything at all, it`s going to be a tough game tomorrow away at Grimsby but we will go there trying to win the match, although these injuries have made it harder.
“However, it gives someone the opportunity to go in and, as other people have done this season, do well. It’s bad timing for us but we’ll go there and as always do our best to win the game.
‘There’s a tremendous buzz around the club and I really do think the fans and supporters are acting as one at the minute.
‘Grimsby have had new managers come in which has given them a lift. They’ve had a bit of a bad run and will need to win all of their games and for the teams above them to falter if they are to make the play-offs’.
Kiddy skipper, Mike Williams, is very upbeat about life at Aggborough these days. He told the Shuttle :
‘When I signed for Harriers, the gaffer told me he wanted to go for promotion. It’s an exciting finish to the season where we’ve got something big to play for.
‘I’m use to mid-table finishes so it’s very exciting and we’re at a stage where every game is a big game.
‘Even at the start of the season you could feel there was a buzz around the place and that everyone wanted to push in one direction.
‘When you’ve got the management and players all united as we are, you are bound to get a strong spirit.
Grimsby Town Team News:
Lee Ridley is stilling missing with a groin problem, while Charles Ademeno is suspended.
Michael Leary is back in contention following his concussion. He did not receive medical approval in time to play for the reserves in midweek, and may be lacking in match fitness.
Bosses Scott and Hurst welcome back four players from injury. Peter Bore, Micky Cummins, Darran Kempson and Steve Watt will all be available.
Serge Makofo will have a late fitness test, having limped out of that reserves outing with a knock to his hip.
Player to watch: Dwayne Samuels
Dwayne was thrust into the first team for the last two matches because of the number of defenders out through injury.
The 20 year old seized the opportunity and impressed with his own performances, particulrly his overlapping runs down the right.
Kidderminster Harriers Team News:
The Harriers will definitely be without Striker Lee Morris who picked up a calf injury in training and will be sidelined for two weeks.
Tom Shaw is still unavailable due to an ongoing foot injury.
There are doubts over defenders Mike Williams (calf strain) and Michael Briscoe (ankle). Neither player is expected to feature tomorrow.
Player to watch: Chris McPhee
The 28 year old midfielder has been one of the stars of the Harriers rise up the league table.
Mr Versatile, Chris can also play up front and has already notched 17 goals this season.
Highly rated, Chris was rumoured to have been a transfer target for the Mariners in the January window.
Match Facts & Stats
The reverse fixture : Sun, 10 Oct 2010
Aggborough Stadium, Attendance 1,587
Kidderminster 3 (McPhee 5, Blair 11, 35)
Grimsby 2 (Eagle 31, Connell 70)
Wed 13 April (h) Rushden & Diamonds 7.45pm