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Lawrence Defends Tactics

By: Stephen Bateman
Date: 02/01/2001

Lennie Lawrence has once again expressed his dissatisfaction with a Grimsby defence that has recorded just one clean sheet in it's last eleven outings. The Town boss stressed that it would be impossible for his side to pull away from the relegation zone unless they tighten up defensively.

"I think we should have kept a clean sheet and we can't move forward until we do. They offered no threat at all in the first half and they won the game from two or three chances. The last thing I said to my players as they went out at half time was 'don't concede a goal'," commented Lawrence after watching his side slump to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. The Mariners boss was also left cursing his luck yet again as he felt that Grimsby should have had a penalty after Con Blastis had handballed in the box: "It hit his hand, we are away from home and they're a bigger club - we aren't going to get it. He was a Premier League referee - no chance." Lawrence's 4-4-1-1 system floundered for the second consecutive game, although the manager appeared largely unconcerned, as he continued: "I told them that it might be one of those days when you're destined not to score. I might have changed personnel within the same system - the system with Donovan in the hole has suited us quite well over the last four games." Looking ahead to Saturday's FA Cup third round tie with Wycombe on Saturday, the Grimsby boss admitted that he is not particularly interested in stringing together a successful cup-run as he told reporters: "Anybody with the slightest hint of a knock will not play. The League comes first by a million miles."

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