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Lennie Backs Down

By: Stephen Bateman
Date: 19/12/2000

Lennie Lawrence has backed down over the deadline that he set concerning the capture of David Nielsen's signature. It is believed that the Dane is close to an agreement with his current club, FC Copenhagen, and Lawrence now seems prepared to allow the Dane more time.

Yesterday, Nielsen revealed that he was not at all bothered about the deadline, saying that it was "crap aimed at the media and sponsors". Today's climb-down by Lawrence would certainly suggest that the former Danish Under-21 international is indeed the one calling the shots throughout these negotiations. Last Wednesday, Lawrence was emphatic over the deadline, saying: "If [the deal] isn't done by the weekend, then it won't be done. There will be no saying in three weeks time "Oh, we want to sign now", there will be none of that." Exactly one week later, after appearing to have had his bluff called, the Mariners boss went back on his word as he commented: "I've told him to think about his footballing career and forget about the money side of things - that will come later down the line, maybe in 18 months time. It seems that there has been a bit of a breakthrough somewhere and I'm prepared to give the lad a bit more time to try and work things out." Lawrence, who earned the nickname "Honest Lennie" during his managerial stint at Charlton, will be hoping for a quick solution to the negotiations before either he or Grimsby Town are caused any more embarrassment by the farcical nature of the dealings to date.

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