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Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



Buckley vs Lawrence - Their Views!!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 21/08/2001

WITH the much awaited clash between Grimsby Town and Lincoln on tonight both managers made clear their opinions of each other and Lennie Lawrence hopes Grimsby fans will receive Alan Buckley with good grace and remember what he did for the Mariners.

Alan Buckley said he has nothing to prove but took what appears to be a side swipe at Bryan Huxford and Doug Everitt.

"I have nothing to prove to the people of Grimsby Town," said Buckley to the Grimsby Telegraph who have given full coverage to the pre match comments. "If the guys who were responsible for my sacking were still there it might be a different case, but for me a little of the edge has gone off the game."

"What matters to me is that my players make a good account of themselves against what is now an established first division side. That is all I am interested in."

"I was manager there for nine years out of 12 and gave that club more success than they had ever known."

"If it wasn't for me they might not be an established first division side because when I first went there in 1988 the club was on its knees."

"When I chose to leave for West Brom there were a few nasty letters but you always get the morons. I would like to think the majority of supporters appreciate the success I gave them."

"The second time was different because I don't think I deserved the sack two games into the season but there was a different agenda at the club with the new men coming in."

"Keith Alexander tells me Lincoln are fast gaining a reputation as a passing side and it shows we are going in the right direction."

"I pride myself on producing footballing sides and while people like Lennie Lawrence prefer a different style, this is my way."

"...The crowd should acknowledge the massive contribution he's made to this football club in the two spells he's been here..."

Kingsley Black will be in the Lincoln side tonight in his first return to Blundell Park since joining Lincoln.

"It's always nice to go back to your old clubs and see some old friends. It will be strange going in and turning into the away dressing room instead of going further down the corridor," said Black. It's an important game for us and we don't need to be told that. We'll be looking to put in a good performance and it's important for us to have a go at Grimsby."

On Buckley Lawrence said "What should happen in my opinion is that he should walk to the middle of the pitch and the crowd should acknowledge the massive contribution he's made to this football club in the two spells he's been here."

"I can't make that happen but fans should remember that it doesn't matter how it ended. Nine times out of 10 it ends in tears - unless you're Alex Ferguson."

"But the supporters and the public should focus on the massive debt they owe him."

With an expected gate of around 6,000 tonight with 2,000 Lincoln supporters making the trip Lennie is looking for a good game and on the squad commented: "There isn't a senior squad, only a team, Jeffrey will start and Jonny will drop down because we've got two games in three days coming up."

"If we were playing a third division side from anywhere other than local I'd be sorely tempted to put two or three youngsters in, but that would be cheating the paying public."

"With it only being one-off games you could get to the fourth round without having to play the usual string of games. All that means is that you play midweek games for longer in the early part of the season."

John Cockerill a long time friend of Buckley's said: "We've talked about the game, not in great depth, just as a sort of a joke really, I've never really come up against him. The last time was when he was manager at Kettering and I was playing for Stafford and he tried to sign me. I won't need to look over to the other dugout - I'll hear him first. I'll know he's there."

"There's Keith (Alexander) who's my best mate and Alan, and he's a good friend. Me and Keith were best men for each other and we go back a long way from when he was playing for Skegness in the Midlands League. Keith did brilliant when he was here and was the top scorer for two seasons."

"It's nice to see them come back."

"I hope the fans think deeply before whatever they do tonight, but they should look back and see how well Alan did when he was here.

"But tonight it's up to us as a first division side to be right for it. If we take them for granted we'll get beat."

Paul Groves also thought that Buckley deserves a good reception at Blundell Park saying: "He's been the most successful manager this club has ever had and that's something that the fans should remember. However people see him, they've got to remember his record. He put us where we are now and deserves a hot reception."

"The Buckley factor aside," said Groves, "the Town side are determined to beat the Imps for the sake of local pride."

"I wouldn't have thought that their players will need too much motivation. They've got an opportunity of playing a first division side and to upset the favourites."

"The Worthington Cup is a good chance for the smaller clubs to do well and grab the headlines."

"But because it's an ex-club of Alan's he'll be making sure that they're well motivated for this game."

"There are a number of players who played for Alan still here and that's significant. There's local pride at stake as well."

"We might be playing in the higher division, but we want to show it out on the pitch."

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