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By: Stephen Bateman
In an effort to address their recent defensive problems, the Mariners look set to go into tonights crucial clash with Wolves with the 5-3-2 formation that manager Lennie Lawrence initially favoured upon his arrival at the club.
Following an impressive performance after coming on as a substitute against Sheffield United on Saturday, Matthew Bloomer looks likely to start alongside Peter Handyside and Paul Groves in the centre of defence. On-loan Norwegian Knut Anders Fostervold will slot into the left wing-back position in the absence of the injured Tony Gallimore.
Midfielder Stacy Coldicott will undergo a late fitness test before Lawrence names his side, but with the former Baggie rated as doubtful, Scotsman Neil Murray may be set for his first start for the Mariners.
Lawrence is under no illusions as to the importance of tonights game as he told reporters "It's a key game. It's one of our games in hand and they'll be expected to beat us. They're under more pressure than we are, but it's a must not lose game."
The Town manager is also aware that his main priority must lie with his sides defensive frailties as he went on to say "We have to give ourselves a chance of getting a goal, but we can't do anything until we stop conceding. We are a decent attacking threat and we look as if we are going to get a goal. But our our defending is not acceptable, not good and we can't move forward with that sort of goals against record."
Speaking of his intentions to revert to a five-man defence, Lawrence added "We've kept the same system for a few games and that might necessitate a change of formation and personnel. The case for carrying on as we are is not good."
Lee looks to strikers
Under-pressure Wolves boss Colin Lee is also aware that this is a game that his side must win as they look to clamber above Grimsby at the bottom end of the table: "The players are very aware of the position we are in and they are fully concentrated on trying to win this game," he said.
After losing their fourth consecutive game against Blackburn on Saturday, Lee is looking for a major improvement from his strikers as he said "Opportunities have been given to players but I can't continue to wait for them to produce the goods. Anyone who is responsible for scoring goals is going to be scrutinised."
Mystery man lined up
It is understood that Wolves are currently in negotiations with an "experienced player with a goal-scoring record" in an effort to rejuvenate their season. Sources suggest that the striker in question is Liverpool's Titti Camara, cousin of Wolves utility player Mohamed Camara. Lee will be doing everything possible to complete the deal before 4.45 this evening in order that the mystery player will be eligible for tonights crucial match.
Midfielders Simon Osborn and Andy Sinton look set to be recalled to the Wolves squad and Paul Butler, currently on-loan from Sunderland, will make his home debut.
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