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Lawrence: Six Wins Needed
By: Rob Sedgwick
Grimsby boss Lennie Lawrence believes Town need six more wins, or another 18 points in their remaining eighteen games to ensure the Mariner's first division survival this season: "We are in a healthier position than we were before. We now need six more wins." said Lawrence after the Pompey game.
Lawrence made a change of tactics for the game, deciding to deploy Kevin Donovan on the wing and employ a 4-4-2 formation. The Grimsby manager was pleased with the results in the first half saying "The passing and movement was as good as it's been in the first half, we got two goals which was no more than we deserved, and we could have had a third."
Lawrence felt that although Portsmouth had had the better of the second half, the Mariners overall performance deserved a victory. "It would have been a gross injustice if we hadn't won. After losing our last two home games we showed a lot of character" the Grimsby boss said, adding "We've taken a big step but are under no illusions because we've been in a relegation battle since the day I came here."
Portsmouth manager Steve Claridge was unhappy with his team's first half performance, which saw the Mariners race into a two goal lead before half time. Commenting on his assessment of the first 45 minutes the Portsmouth player-manager wryly said: "We had more passengers than British Rail."
Claridge was happier with Portsmouth's second half display, in which Lee Bradbury scored to bring the visitors back into the game, but felt that the damage had been done in the first 45 minutes. "Why we can't do that from the start I don't know. Maybe the players think they are better than they are" said a frustrated Steve Claridge.
Grimsby Town after Saturday's victory have risen to 18th place in the 1st Division Table. The additional 18 points targeted by Lennie Lawrence would see Mariners' total rise to 48, a sufficient tally to avoid relegation in 5 out of the last 9 seasons. The table below show the minimum number of points required to come fourth bottom (not on goal difference) of the first division in the last nine seasons.
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