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Lennie Lawrence Wants 17 Year Record Broken!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 12/08/2001

WHEN Grimsby Town take to the field at Blundell Park tomorrow they will be looking for an opening game winner. If they achieve it, then it will be the first opening home game win for 17 years and manager Lennie Lawrence is warning that Crewe are not mugs.

"The players know the score. It's an opportunity and we can't afford to spurn too many of them," said Lawrence to the Grimsby Telegraph. "The start's important and if you've got four or five points after three games you'll find yourselves up there. I don't want a repeat of last year where we get to the fifth game and it's win at all costs."

"Crewe can be slow starters. We could beat them or they could cut us to pieces if we don't do it right."

David Smith, Paul Raven and Steve Livingstone are out injured and David Beharall and Phil Jevons will be making their first team debut. On Beharall Lawrence said: "He's found it hard to get in at Newcastle which is no disgrace but what needs to be established is whether he's first, second or third division material."

Michael Jeffrey will be with Jevons up front, with Stuart Campbell and Alan Pouton on the wings. Danny Butterfield is in the starting line-up leaving Stacy Coldicott, Wayne Burnett and Menno Willems to battle it out for the other spot in midfield.

Lawrence is hoping that the Town fans will be there cheering the lads on saying: "The crowd helped us over the line and we have to give them the encouragement to continue in that vein.

Beharall,meantime,is delighted to be at Grimsby and told the Grimsby Telegraph "It's a case of how I get on and if the gaffer likes me - but I'm loving it at the minute. It's a great chance for me and I'm really looking forward to it. Grimsby is bigger than I thought it was and, from what I've seen, I really like the area."

"I don't really get that nervous before games but I do get the butterflies and you need a bit of that to get you going.

"The opening day is a great occasion for us and for me and it gives the fans and the manager a chance to have a look at me. I can only go out and play my best."

Partnering Paul Groves will prove vital in helping him settle into the game.

"In training we had the shape of the team mapped out and he talks a lot which really helps.

"He's more experienced than me and I'll be listening to him and that will help me get through the game.

"You can learn a lot from players like that."

"To be part of the first team has been great. I'd go anywhere to do that."

Town:Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Beharall, Pouton, Campbell, Butterfield, Burnett, Coldicott, Willems, Jevons, Jeffrey, Allen, Rowan, Croudson.

Editors Note:

The Fishy will be represented at the Crewe game being the Match Ball Sponsors.

Representing the Fishy will be: Nick Osborne, Steff Keighley, Pete Conboy and his son Patrick and Mike Dunderdale.

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