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The Last Day!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/05/2001

With a sell out crowd expected at Blundell Park tomorrow for the final game of the season, Town fans are being urged to move quickly if they want a ticket for tomorrow's game at Blundell Park with more than 8,000 already sold.

The Lower Smiths Stand is completely sold out, while in the Upper Smiths there are only a few tickets left with unrestricted views. The Main Stand is close to sold out, but there are still available tickets for the Pontoon and the open corners.

Only 2,000 tickets are left which will be on sale at the club shop until 3pm today, with the ticket office open from 9am onwards on Sunday.

Should Grimsby lose this game, both Crystal Palace and Portsmouth must win, while Huddersfield must at least draw, for Town to be relegated. But, if Palace or Pompey fails to get three points, then the Mariners will be safe.

Manager Lennie Lawrence has insisted the heat should be on him and not his players telling the Grimsby Telegraph "The players know how important this game is and I've got to try and relax them as best I can. They don't need hyping up for games like this," he said. "I have to try and calm them down and get the pressure off them and on to me."

"We have to say to ourselves that we're preparing to play Fulham and that if we don't get a result we go down. As far as we are concerned, it's as if the other games don't exist until afterwards. All the fans will have their radios on, and rightly so. But we have to try and remove the distractions from our minds.

"I don't want any announcements at half-time and I don't want anything in our dressing room and what I don't want is constant jabber of who's doing what elsewhere. If I can avoid it, I will."

Lawrence said he believes that what happens tomorrow will determine the Mariners' direction as a club for the next two or three years, and he is urging the players to put in one final push.

"Whatever happens, the players who have played 35 and 40 games cannot reproach themselves. They've carried it through. What they have got to do is carry that on for one more game where they're doing their best."

"From the fifth game to the 45th game, we've put our work in and been outside the bottom three. We need to keep that up for one more game," he said, adding that safety would be an immense achievement. "It's a tough, tough league and we've done well.

"We are the smallest club in the league and there will only be one Blackburn or Fulham in this division once every 10 years. This year, there's two teams with six genuine Premiership players in their side. "It's a bloody massive game. Last year was a weak league, I don't care what anybody says."

"Swindon and Port Vale went down with 30-odd points and Walsall went down with them. Swindon and Port Vale have been in the bottom half of the second division this year and that says something."

"This year, there's only one small club in the fight, and that's us. "Portsmouth are a big club, and so are Palace. Stockport are a little bigger than us but they've got themselves clear and hats off to them."

"If we stay up, everybody who works at this football club can take endless pride and credit from it."

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