The Grimsby Town FC


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Question of the Week

What is more important, result or style of football?

Style of Football


Birmingham Preview

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/05/2001

Grimsby Town face a few problems against Birmingham City tomorrow with the news that Peter Handyside has played his last game of the season and might also have played his last game for the Mariners with speculation mounting that he will move away from Grimsby during the summer break.

Stacy Coldicott is also rated as doubtful for the game in which Grimsby might need to earn at least a point to keep them safe. A win or a draw would be enough but only if Wolves beat Crystal Palace. If Palace draw or lose Grimsby can be almost assured of safety.

"If they draw or lose then the pendulum will swing massively our way," said Town boss Lennie Lawrence to the Grimsby Telegraph. "It doesn't matter how you dress it up, they've got to win two. "I don't know what we need. We might need none, one or three. It's impossible to say, but we'll have a clearer idea after Saturday."

"It would be nice to be safe before the last day."

On Injuries Lennie said "There's no chance of Peter for tomorrow and a very, very slim chance for Sunday week. Away from home it leaves me with Paul Raven, who got in half a game for the Reserves, or Livvo. Raves did well to get through and it's his only 45 minutes in a long, long time. He'll be on the bench for definite."

"It's tall order to start with him and the game would have to be just right for him. It's 90 per cent concrete it will be Livvo."

Coldicott has had no training since last Saturday's game a hamstring strain, and Lawrence will not rush him back. "He hasn't run yet and I'm not playing him unless he's 100 per cent. He's got to make very significant progress to be considered, and if we need something from the last game, I don't want him ruled out," said Lawrence, who added that the odds were against the midfielder making the trip.

"We're well-equipped in midfield, but at the back and the front we are gradually running out of bodies."

Town are expected to switch to a 4-4-1-1 formation with Donovan in the "hole" and Willems in midfield.


Blues striker Andrew Johnson says he is ready to return to the action for the clash against Grimsby on Saturday, after discovering that his shoulder injury is less serious than first thought.

"My shoulder's been stiff during the week and quite painful, but I've had a scan and all it is, is muscle damage," he said. "I've been told that I can play through it."

"It's quite painful still, but I'm going to do so more running and fitness work this week and if I can come through that I should be ok for Saturday. "I'm relieved that it's just muscle damage, because we were quite expecting some ligament damage." AJ says he will be hoping to recapture his form at just the right time: "I can't wait to get back. "I was playing quite well before I got injured and I was making some chances, so I'm looking forward to getting back into the team and getting three points for the team."

"Saturday's game against Grimsby is a huge game, but we're having to treat every game like a cup final, because every team we play now is fighting for something. If we can get three points on Saturday I'm sure we'll secure a play-off place."

"Everybody's 100 per cent committed to the club and promotion is all that we want. The Premiership is the biggest division in the world and everyone wants to play there. The boys are certainly ready for Grimsby on Saturday and after that the play-offs."

Birmingham coach Ian Bowyer said the Blues will delay naming their side until they know for sure who is fit although he said he envisaged "not many changes" from the team which drew 0-0 at Burnley last week.

Bowyer said that morale in the camp was "first class" and the Blues are aiming to go one better than their 1-1 draw at Grimsby last month.

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