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What Went Wrong?

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 24/10/2001

"We self-destructed really. There are some class players on their side and we would be hard-pressed to deal with them at the best of times, but we didn't help ourselves enough, and that is a problem we have got."

Lennie Lawrence,Grimsby's manager at the post match conference who added: "One of the goals was a set play, and the first was just too easy - we were caught daydreaming, the line was not right at the back and then bump, it's in the back of the net. The players kept going and we deserved a goal at the end, but the fourth goal was just a complete unforced error."

"Only the third goal owed a great deal to the skill of their players. They missed better chances."

"At the back we have got serious problems.

"A lot of people will have gone home scratching their heads and thinking we had as much possession as them in the 90 minutes, but when you're 2-0 down in the first 20 minutes it is a bit of a mountain to climb to say the least."

On Fridays match he told the Grimsby Telegraph: "Birmingham are a strong side, and we've now just got to try and get our sleeves rolled up and stop the flow of goals into our net. Nothing else matters.

"Two weeks ago we were at Liverpool, it seems a lifetime ago now, but on we go. We have just got to try and shore up the defence as best we can."

"We have made quite a lot of progress in the past year, but the wheels have come off big time in the last month, and it's our job to try and put them back on again.

"Thank goodness for the start, otherwise we would be adrift. There are still clubs below us and we have got to try and arrest the slide. That is all we can do."

Kevin Keegan said: "We did a good job. We scored four goals, we missed a lot more than that, and we kept a clean sheet so there are a lot of plusses."

"I don't want to be disrespectful, I don't think we should have scored 10, but we definitely missed three better opportunities than the ones we scored, and we have also worked really hard to keep a clean sheet."

"I saw Grimsby play at Liverpool and that was a terrific result. It was only two weeks ago but it will seem like a month to Lennie."

"The cup might get them going in the league. They have lost a few games on the trot now and I feel for them. This was a game that both teams needed to win and we did."

"I have got a lot of respect and time for Lennie Lawrence. I have come up against him many times when he was at Middlesbrough, and then at Luton when I was with Fulham."

For the fans the greatest problem is what, if anything, can be done to fix the problems we obviously have. Friday night's game will be a killer if Town lose and on last night's showing the question most likely to be on people's mind is "How many goals will we lose by?"

The answer to that may well hinge on what goes on behind closed doors at Blundell Park over the next day or so.



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