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Kippe Will Be Coming Hopes Lennie!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 12/08/2001

LENNIE LAWRENCE has scotched the rumours that Liverpool's giant centre back Frode Kippe has refused to come to Blundell Park by announcing that he is looking to give him a year's loan.

Lawrence said that Kippe turned down the chance to link up in time for today's game against Crewe for domestic reasons but, despite the temporary setback, he is still keen to join Town

In a statement to the Grimsby Telegraph Lawrence outlined the proposal for Kippe saying that he could join Grimsby in September and though the Mariners could struggle to match his wages at Anfield, Lawrence said he is hoping that he can strike a deal with Gerard Houllier for him.

Norwegian centre half Frode Kippe joined Liverpool for £700,000 from Lillestrom and after a series of impressive displays for the reserves in the 1998-99 season, gained a place on the bench in a friendly victory over Sunderland.

Kippe made his senior debut and only appearance to date for the Reds in the Worthington Cup win against Hull City, reportedly performing well in an unorthodox central midfield role.

In December 1999 he went on loan to Stoke City for three months in order to gain first team experience and established himself as a key member of their back four, helping Stoke to the final of the Auto Windscreens Shield in which he was ineligible to play. Kippe also went on loan to the Potteries outfit the following season, making first team 20 starts during his second loan spell.

The Mariners receive their £2-million ITV Sport money in September and Lawrence will not be able to make any more moves until then but he will be able to bring more players in after that.

"We have done what we can in the summer and we have got less senior bodies. We'll bridge that gap with loans as two or three weeks go by. The board have been very supportive because wages in football have gone through the roof in the last two or three years. We've spent £350,000 in transfer fees this summer and it's not to be scoffed at.

"We've made a massive effort and there's no way we can afford to make the squad bigger on a permanent basis. In the course of time we'll bring loans in and the 19 we have, have got to contribute. What we've got to do is get over the first phase of the season - eight or 10 games - with the existing players and they have to do us a job until we can get reinforcements in.

"That's the plan. If by some miracle everybody's fit and firing we might not have to, but that's the realistic target.

Leicester City winger Kevin Ellison will play in a Foxes Reserve match this week and Lennie is hoping to bring him to Grimsby very soon.

This statement by manager Lawrence is good in that it explains the financial situation and the reason for the small squad this season. It also brings some hope in that in the near future, he will have access to further funds to strengthen the squad.

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