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Groves: LL's Harsh Words

By: Stephen Bateman
Date: 22/11/2000

Mariners skipper Paul Groves has spoken of Lennie Lawrence's displeasure at Tuesday night's defeat against Wolves. Groves revealed that Lawrence tore into his team during the half-time interval, revealing a few home truths.

"There were some harsh words said at half time. Some truths were told and some people felt hurt by what was said, but that's football and sometimes these things need saying," revealed Groves after the Mariners crashed to their third straight loss.

Groves went on to indicate that the Mariners may have been guilty of underestimating their opponents as he went on to say: "We thought that we could put some pressure on them, but they ran out comfortable winners in the end, which was disappointing".

Lennie Enters Stormy Waters

Meanwhile, the Grimsby boss today continued his soul-searching after last night's poor display, describing it as "the worst performance" that he has seen since taking charge at Blundell Park.

Lawrence, who is noted throughout the footballing world for his self-effacing honesty, accepted that his own tactical naivety played a part in the defeat as he said "I take some responsibility because I am asking them to play a system [that] they are completely at sea with."

He went on to say "A lot of it is down to me, but you would hope that if I had picked 11 positions out of a hat, they would have done better than that, but they didn't."

"You wouldn't have imagined that they could make that much of a pig's ear of it, but they obviously did," added a dejected Lawrence.

It appears that the experienced former Luton boss who is well-versed in relegation battles is realistic about the task that lies ahead of his charges as he assessed his sides recent run of poor form, saying: "The brutal truth is we haven't helped ourselves and we will be lucky to be outside the bottom three on Saturday night."

Unfortunately for Lawrence there appears to be little that can be done to address the Mariners current poor form as a result of an extensive casualty list. With both Bradley Allen and Danny Butterfield sidelined for at least another ten days the manager's hands are tied by the resources which he currently has at his disposal.

It seems unlikely that Matthew Bloomer will be given an opportunity in the heart of the Town defence on Saturday as Lawrence hinted that, in spite of the poor nature of the Grimsby performance, he would probably stick with the eleven that finished the match against Wolves.

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