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March On The Changes

By: Richard Lord
Date: 04/03/2001

The recent 2-0 defeat against Barnsley was the first of eight testing games this month facing Grimsby Town. Already the squad has been pushed to the limit, as Lennie Lawrence prepares to make full use of the players available to him, and vowed never to make the same mistake twice.

The 3-1 defeat at Forest last weekend demonstrated the fact that the same squad of players are not equipped to play three games in seven days. "We did well for two-and-a-half games last week, and I'm not ripping it to pieces" commented Lawrence.

"Where there's been a problem is with the third game and I will rotate next week" promised the Grimsby manager. "That's what I'm looking to do. The only area we are ridiculously heavy is where we have four people for two positions at centre back. Peter Handyside must be the unluckiest person in the building."

Injuries to Steve Livingstone and David Smith may force early returns for Alan Pouton and Bradley Allen which the straight-talking London-born manager confirmed to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. "Alan Pouton and Bradley will both be in soon. We can't wait any longer" said Lawrence.

The former Luton boss is forced to make one change at least in the next fixture, as Stacy Coldicott will miss the trip to Huddersfield on Tuesday night. The battling midfielder has picked up five yellow cards this season and the news that he is unavailable for the six-pointer is a major blow to Lawrence.

Other news: Scouting The Dutch

A specially arranged day of matches at Lilleshall next week has prompted the visit of both Grimsby Town reserve team coach Paul Wilkinson, along with the Mariners chief scout Steve Thompson. The pair will both be looking at players released from Premiership clubs in search of a Nationwide League club.

Since his appointment in the autumn, Wilkinson has brought in a number of youngsters on trial in a bid to strengthen the club's youth structure. Two Dutch trialists from Feyenoord are being watched and Lennie Lawrence has already been impressed with the Holland Under-19 pair. Goalkeeper Ronald Ermes and midfielder Rob Bruscher will be hoping to earn themselves a contract if they prove their worth.

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