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Lawrence Hots Up Search For Defender

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 30/07/2001

Lennie Lawrence stated today that he was stepping up his search for a centre back in time for the start of the new season saying it could be a foreigner on a Bosman.

"I have some serious irons in the fire. It might be a foreigner or it might be a loan, I could do with somebody quicker and more mobile and with a left foot." said Lawrence.

"It's a hard thing to do at the start of the season," he told the Grimsby Telegraph. "It's a real discipline. You don't want to be saying 'what have I done?' three months down the line," he pointed out.

However, Livingstone is still not fit and has been ruled out of action for at least a week. "We have a reserve friendly away at Northwich Victoria a week on Tuesday and he might come in for that," said the Town boss.

On Ellison who missed the pre-season tour games Lawrence added: "If he is fit I want to get him over, pick it up and do it [referring to a loan deal]. I'd like to give him half-an-hour on Wednesday night and put him in the squad for the first league game. If we get him and a centre back then that will be it."

Lawrence also said he was trying to get Alan Pouton's new contract sorted, the final task of a long summer of negotiations. "It's been a devil of a job but I hope to get it done before August 11th" said Lawrence.

When last season ended, over a dozen Grimsby players were out of contract, a fact which the Town boss acknowledged had been damaging: "I've never known anything like it in my life and it should never happen again. The situation has financially hurt the club."

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