TOWN take on Millwall at Blundell Park on Saturday looking to continue their improved showing against Sheffield Wednesday. In-form Millwall have impressed so far in their first season back in Division One, and will provide a touch challenge.
After a much improved performance against Sheff Wed last week, Town must now face a real test in the high flying Milwall. Townâ€™s magnificent start to the season is all but forgotten and most now expect a relegation battle. Injury to key players like John McDermott and Steve Livingstone haven't helped but excuses apart, Grimsby are where their performances have put them and in all honesty if performances like the ones seen against Rotherham and Gillingham are the norm then Grimsby deserve Conference football. But match this with the effort, rather than the performanceâ€™s against Coventry and West Brom and it seems a different team altogether. However Grimsby need to put another solid run of 4/5 unbeaten games, the problem is where will it come from? Still on their day they can beat anyone..... Just ask the Anfield faithful.
Having won the second division in style last season, Milwall started the season in a similar fashion, thrashing Norwich 5-0. Since then the Lions have been consistent and have stayed in the reckoning all season. They have the quality players in the likes of Stephen Reid, the old head in Steve Claridge and the unsung heroes (Sean Dyche and Stuart Netthercott). The big question flying around south London is "Are Milwall good enough for the Prem?" The cruel answer is no, but (and its a big but) they could be. Iâ€™m not saying they would win the Prem but they could stay up. Their squad is very young and will improve drastically in the next 6 months, the only â€˜oldieâ€™ in the team (Claridge) is a forward, of which Milwall have a more than capable replacement in Neil Harris.
Only worry for Town is the fitness of Phil Jevons who is rated at 50-50 after taking a knock on the knee at Hillsborough. The usual injury list consists of Stacy Coldicott, Alan Nielson, Dave Smith and Michael Jeffrey not forgetting long term absentees John McDermott and Steve Livingstone. Chris Bolder and Chris Thompson will be fighting for a place on the bench. Lennie Lawrance has been given the go ahead to get David Beharall for the season from Newcastle but whether the deal will be done in time for Saturdays game is doubtful.
Millwall Team News
Ex-Chesterfield man Sean Dyche is doubtful for the match as is keeper Tony Warner, both were taken off in the Rotherham game with a tight hamstring and a gashed head respectively. Talented defender Joe Dolan received another set back this week when he was told he wonâ€™t play another game this season following a bad leg break 6 months ago. Neil Harris and Stephen Reid also miss out.
Expected Line Ups
Prestatyn born stopper who recently found his way back into the Wales est-up after much campaigning by his fans.
Right Back cum Midfielder cum Right Back. Playing in his original position of right back after injuries to John McDermott and Alan Neilson.
Vice Skipper who is having his best season in a Town shirt (in this division anyway).
Fast becoming a cult hero is the loanee from Ewood Park, signing for another month which will be his final unless a permanent deal is sorted as his age wonâ€™t allow a season long loan.
Paul Groves (c)
Mariners captain who is also player/coach. Better in the middle but provides experience at the back.
The native of Corby looked so much more at home wide right and should to cement his name in that part of the team sheet. Magnificent at times, forgettable at others.
The man dubbed â€˜Quick Mickâ€™ by errmmm.....no-one is making a huge impression with his electric pace, can also operate up front.
The new Groves put in a man of the match performance against Sheff Wed and won half the battle with his never-say-die attitude, fought for everything and more often than not won the ball and brought it away
You either love him or hate him. Criticised because of his concentration lapses and apparent laziness. Like Campbell can be spectacular but........ Needs to learn that the pitch doesnâ€™t end at the halfway line, and no-more free kicks please.
Unlucky with several difficult efforts at Hillsborough but missed the sitter. Strong performance up front and deserve a goal, his clever linkup play will cause any defence problems.
The baby of a very young team. Struggled with form in recent games but effort can never be faulted, caused problems last week with a very brief appearance.
Giant keeper signed from Aberdeen two years ago. Taken of last week requiring 4 stitches.
Familiar face to Blundell Park having had a trial with Town before joining Milwall from Wolves. Boss Lennie Lawrance deemed him a "2nd division wingback".
Irishman signed from Huddersfield three years ago.
Ex Spurs man who was once called the worst defender in the Prem. Vastly improved since and has been a vital part of Milwallâ€™s success with his no-nonsense attitude.
Spent last season on loan at QPR and in the summer moved from Watford for Â£500,000.
Pacy wide man who joined the club as a YT. Ifill Vs Boulding should an entertaining duel.
Defensive midfielder who will again play in the left had side. Another ex Huddersfield player.
Very highly rated Aussie who knows where the net is. Rumoured to be watched by many Premier managers.
The Canadian international completes a 'Commonwealth' midfield. Missed half the season through injury.
Wily old veteran who gets better with age. Still banging the goals in after a short, yet successful, spell as player/manager at Portsmouth.
Another to roll of the south London youth production line. Tipped for Irish international honours.
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