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No Rift Says Lennie

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 31/01/2001

Grimsby Town manager Lennie Lawrence has described rumours of a rift between Peter Handyside and himself as nonsense. Speculation that Handyside was out of favour arose when he was noticeably absent from Town's line up against Portsmouth.

Lawrence said that was not the case. He pointed out that it was only yesterday (Tuesday) that Handyside returned to training after taking a knock in the reserves game last week

The Town boss, talking to the Grimsby Telegraph, said that he believed the former Scotland Under-21 international is the best creative defender he has in the squad. "He's a talented boy and he's the most creative of the defensive players at the club." said Lawrence who declared that there was competition for places in the team now that players are returning from injuries.

"For a lot of the players it's a situation they haven't been in before and when everybody gets fit there's a hell of a lot of competition for places, especially at centre back." "People have got to get themselves in the team"

This is good news for the Mariners who in recent times have been dogged with injuries leaving the manager to move players out of position in makeshift teams.

Manager Lawrence also revealed the good news that he had chatted with Handyside who has indicated he would like to stay at Blundell Park.

Another fans favourite Bradley Allen is also on his way back from injury and could be back in action with the first team within two weeks.

"I think he's a bit ahead of schedule and he's a naturally fit boy," said the Town boss.

"We have got two Reserve games next week, a Cup game on the Monday and a League game on the Wednesday, and we'll see where we are then."

Paul Raven is also expected to figure in Saturday's match against Wimbledon and Richard Smith will be given a run out with the reserves today with Handyside being rested to avoid any injury risks.

Gallimore, Coldicott and Butterfield will be out of action for at least two weeks with Kingsley Black and Alan Pouton continuing to regain their fitness.

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