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Race to Bring Alan Neilson to BP

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 17/10/2001

LENNIE LAWRENCE is hoping to arrange a last gasp deal to bring Fulham defender Alan Neilson to Blundell Park before Saturday to replace injured veteran John McDermott at right back. The former Newcastle full back was on trial in this afternoon's 2-0 reserve victory against Scunthorpe United.

Town defeated the Iron's second string with another two goals by Michael Boulding - which will reinforce the cries for Lennie Lawrence to pick the former Mansfield winger for the first team. But the Town manager's main priority was to assess the form and fitness of German-born Nielson, and Lawrence was sufficiently impressed with what he saw to proceed with his plans.

The Grimsby boss told Mariners Net, "We need a right back and with Alan only on a month-to-month contract at Fulham, it means he is available immediately either on loan or possibly more. Obviously there is some negotiation to be done either way but the situation looks promising.

"He's 29 and has played for three big clubs. There is no shame at not being in the Fulham side this season or last season. Steve Finnan plays in his position and he's a Republic of Ireland international and a very good player indeed. We have a lot of young players at the club, so to have someone of Alan's experience in the team would be a big boost."

As for the prospects of arranging a move before Saturday, the Town boss said. "As I said there is some talking to be done but you never know in football."

Other pluses from the game were a 20 minute substitute appearance by centre back Paul Raven, playing his first game after a long spell out following an ankle operation, and a full 90 minutes for midfielder Stacy Coldicott, himself nearing the end of his personal comeback trail.

Alan Neilson Profile

Height 5"11'
Weight 11st 7 lb
Date of birth 26-09-1972
Place of birth Wegburg, Germany
Position Defender
Nationality Wales
Former Clubs Fulham, Southampton, Newcastle

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