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LL: "Big day for us"

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 18/02/2001

Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence told reporters at the end of the Mariner's 1-0 victory over Burnley "We're absolutely delighted. I felt it was a good game, an end to end game, which is good for the supporters, and not so good for the managers. It's a big big day for us"

Lawrence was particularly happy with the manner in which his players had approached the game. "Even if we'd have drawn it I'd have taken a lot of positives from the game." said the Grimsby manager. "We looked strong, fit, and there was a clear and apparent will to win and desire from the players and the team. I think that was there for all to see."

Lawrence revealed that the winning goal, which came early in the second half, was from a move which the players had been practicing in training. "It's something we've worked on." said the Town boss. "Menno's got a great delivery with his left foot. He can hit that ball to the back of the six yard box without a setup, without the goalkeeper being able to come and get it. For once it worked just right, Zhang spun out and we were looking either to head it back across the goal or put it in the back of the net, if we can do it, and he did it."

Lawrence thought that the Burnley match had been the Chinese international defender's best game for the Mariners. "That's the best he's played for us. It's ironic really, his wife gave birth to a little boy in the early hours of Monday morning, so he's missed a couple of days training."

The Grimsby manager praised Zhang Ennua's overall performance in the game. "He looked fitter and stronger, he made a couple of blips like everybody else, but he defended well, was strong in the air and got that key goal for us. He pinged some nice balls about and scored a goal." said a satisfied Lawrence.

"He's getting to grips with it now. When he came here he was short on fitness because he hadn't played for a month or two, so it's taken a while to get some training into him but we've done that now and he looks the part."

Lawrence felt that Zhang had been due a goal after recent performances by the Chinese international. "He's a danger on set plays. The Chinese use him as their main man on corners and he's had a couple of near misses but it's nice to see one go in the back of the net." said Lawrence

The Grimsby manager also said that there was no chance of the Chinese defender continuing to play for the club after his loan period ends in April. "He's on loan until the first week in April and that's it. He's off to the training camp for the Chinese World Cup qualifiers which starts in late April/Early May. We knew that at the start. If he plays like that for the next two months that's money well spent" concluded Lawrence.

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