Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
By: Rob Sedgwick
With the new season kicking off tomorrow, Town's small squad is already pressed for the opener against Preston with no less than 5 players ruled out through injury and suspension. New striker Michael Jeffrey looks like joining Daryl Clare up front.
The much-hoped for return of central defensive pairing Richard Smith and Peter Handyside will not happen tomorrow as neither player is fit enough to play.
New striker Michael Jeffrey, who signed for Grimsby on Wednesday, looks likely to get the nod over Bradley Allen, who will take up his customary position on the bench. Daryl Clare looks like partnering new man Jeffrey up front. Defender Paul Raven will join Jeffrey in making a first team debut for the Mariners.
The other absentees are left back Tony Gallimore (knee ligament strain), midfielder Wayne Burnett (groin strain) and Stacy Coldicott (suspended after being sent off at West Brom last April).
Manager Alan Buckley today expressed his disappointment at the absence of Wayne Burnett in particular:
"Wayne has a groin strain which is black and blue," said Buckley
"He arguably would have started tomorrow. His absence is a bit of a disappointment, as is Peter's.
"Wayne's played his way into my thoughts because he's fit and we know what a quality player he is.
"Hopefully he won't be out for a long time because he would definitely have played a part."
Of those players available, Alan Pouton is expected to partner Paul Groves in midfield whilst David Smith will fill in for Gallimore in the left back position.
Buckley is looking for a good start tomorrow against newly-promoted Preston:
"We're playing at home at the start of a new season and we're looking for a good performance and a satisfying result." said Buckley.
Town from: Coyne, McDermott, Livingstone, Raven, D Smith, Donovan, Pouton, Groves, Black, Jeffrey, Clare, Allen, Butterfield, Chapman, Buckley, Croudson.
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