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Lennie Goes For It!

By: Stephen Bateman
Date: 03/11/2000

Maverick Grimsby Town manager Lennie Lawrence has revealed that the Mariners will be going to Watford with the intention of taking the game to the league leaders. A buoyant Lawrence said "We're going to have a go at it. They're not superhuman, they're a team to be respected but not feared."

Lawrence's confidence is tempered with a sense of reality as he went on to say, "They're a strong, well organised team and they're well equipped to win the League but let's go and see." Referring to Watford's midweek defeat against Manchester United, the Grimsby boss commented, "They've played Man United and got hammered and that could work either way." It seems likely that Grimsby will recall defender Paul Raven to combat Watford's aerial threat, with Paul Groves pushing forward into midfield to replace the injured Danny Butterfield. Despite an outstanding performance against West Brom on Sunday, Kevin Donovan seems likely to be warming the bench once again. The Mariners seem all set to continue playing a flamboyant 4-3-3 formation, with Lawrence saying "A month ago I might have gone and tried to box it up. But we've been playing with three strikers and they've made it work reasonably well." The manager may be aiming for the sky, but his feet are firmly on the ground as he added, "You do have some hairy moments defensively. Their performances have encouraged me to leave the formation alone." Last week's injury to Butterfield along with the continued absence of Alan Pouton could mean a place on the bench for Neil Murray. Although the Mariners are still awaiting international clearance from the German F.A. the Grimsby manager is hopeful that the Scot will be on Saturday's bench. Fan's favourite Wayne Burnett returns to the squad and is also likely to earn a place on the bench, with Lawrence commenting that he is "in the frame". Meanwhile, Hornets manager Graham Taylor, Lawrence's opposite number for Saturday's game has been full of praise for the new Grimsby supremo, saying: "Lennie Lawrence is a very shrewd manager who knows the business and can work with small budgets. He's looking to get Grimsby into the play-offs and if he achieves that it will be absolutely outstanding, but if he did he wouldn't get the recognition he would deserve because the emphasis is on the Premiership. People who can do what Lennie can do should get far better recognition." Former Spurs goalkeeper Espen Baardsen returns for Watford tomorrow along with influential midfielder Micah Hyde. Left-back Paul Robinson is included in the squad despite limping off against Manchester United during midweek. Grimsby Town (probable 4-3-3): Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Raven, Handyside, Groves, Campbell, Coldicott, Allen, Nielsen, Livingstone. Watford (probable 4-4-2): Baardsen, Cox, Robinson, Ward, Page, Palmer, Nielsen, Hyde, Mooney, Wooter, Noel-Williams.

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