League Two Form Guide
Question of the Week
Should James McKeown be dropped?
The Search Goes On
By: Bill Osborne
With the defeat at Gillingham on Saturday, Grimsby Town with 30 points sit just 3 points above the relegation zone with only a slim chance of moving further up the table within one game with Stockport and Barnsley on 31 and 32 respectively.
That is of course if both of them lose and Grimsby win the next game. Which illustrates how critical the result on Saturday was.
Fortunately those around us are not gaining, with bottom club Sheffield Wednesday going down 4-1 at Wimbledon, losing their manager Paul Jewell and their chairman in the process. QPR going down 5-0 and Tranmere losing 2-0 at home and the two teams immediately below us only managing a draw providing us with a small cushion away from the bottom three.
This has provided some respite for Manager Lawrence on a miserable weekend and his search for a striker is even more critical now.
The news that Bradley Allen will figure in the game against Burnley is good news and the return of Livingstone after a one-match suspension will surely help. If Lawrence is not able to secure a striker before then we can expect to see a front line of Allen, Jeffreys and Livingstone.
The Grimsby Evening Telegraph commented today:
"Since Nielsen's return to Denmark, Lawrence has tried several times to replace him. Never has the need been greater than now".
"Bradley Allen and Steve Livingstone could drag Town through to safety but to rely solely on them would be folly, and Lawrence knows it".
"Lawrence needs to put the icing on the cake quickly and, with his attempts at bringing in a loan striker hitting brick wall after brick wall, the pressure is on the board to dig deep and stump up the cash to make something, anything, possible".
Strong words and the fans too are getting impatient. This places more pressure on Lawrence who has not stopped looking, contrary to popular opinion and, for him, the question is not when but who.
Lennie Lawrence continues knocking on doors to no avail and with Grimsby struggling at the bottom of the division, it is hard to tempt players who are good enough, to leave their present clubs with the possibility of playing in the second division if things go wrong for Town or, are willing to enter the current wage structure.
Lawrence's only real option is to acquire a striker in the premier or first division who wants to play every week. That then brings the question in regard to first division clubs, if the player is not good enough to play every week for them; is he better than what we have? That must be the criterion. The player must be better than those we have.
So a difficult job for Lennie Lawrence and few would envy him.
The calls for the board to put up money to buy are to no avail also if players are not available. Whether a player is brought in on loan or by straight transfer is irrelevant. A player has to be found first and although Lawrence has many contacts in the game, it appears that there are few who are available who would, in his opinion, strengthen the squad.
Let us hope therefore that Lawrence can pull the rabbit from the hat but to expect him to perform miracles is just wishful thinking. But the search goes on and that should give us some hope! Let's face it. That is all we have at the moment.
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