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Lawrence: Crunch Time
By: Bill Osborne
LENNIE LAWRENCE has asked the question. "Are we up to it? They've been strong and up to it so far. Now we'll find out. We've got five games at home and two away which is physically all right, but mentally it's tougher because you're expected to win."
"The absolute minimum is that we have to win one of the next two games," said Lawrence, telling the Grimsby Telegraph the he is expecting no favours from the games tonight and says it is up to his team to pull themselves clear of trouble.
"Make no mistake, Saturday is the crunch. Not because we're playing Tranmere but because we need three points," he said.
"I'm assuming that Huddersfield and Stockport will win one of their games tonight or on Saturday.If Huddersfield go to Palace and win, and they win again on Saturday then good luck to them. If we beat Tranmere and those two win both their games then we'll still be in touch."
Saturday's fixture against rock bottom club Tranmere is make or break as far as the Grimsby manager is concerned. "Unless we win on Saturday we are going to find ourselves three or four points adrift, and our goal difference is the same as losing another point."
Lawrence commented on the players out through injury, and the ever-decreasing squad at Blundell Park, saying, "It's my overwhelming concern. There's just enough bodies in the building to stay up and I still think there is now. But if if we lose any more and half a dozen are still sitting in that treatment room including three centre halves, we're going to be very, very stretched."
"A lot of them have been excellent all year and we are gradually losing people, and we don't get them back. Fostervold left, then David Nielsen, and now Zhang's gone and nobody's replacing them."
"We are not too badly equipped and hopefully we'll get by, but we need people like Livvo and the centre halves to be available."
Crunch time has arrived. There can be no excuses. Both the manager and the players know how crucial this game is. Tranmere will not be throwing in the towel despite their precarious position knowing a loss to Grimsby will finally sound the death knell for them.
One would expect that looking at the positions of both clubs and Grimsby playing at home that this game would bring 3 points to Town. A draw should really be considered a failure with it looking the most likely game we can secure three points from in our final few fixtures.
The ball now rests firmly in the hands of Mr Lawrence.
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