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Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Weak yes
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The Storm Has Arrived

By: Ray Lucas
Date: 16/12/2001

IT'S LOOKING bleak for the Mariners. Yesterday's defeat to Walsall was nothing short of humiliating.

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Ray Graydon's plucky little battlers delivered the drubbing which must surely mark the departure of LL. I said in a previous column, I would be said to see him go. That stands, but Walsall should have been 3 points in the bag. Ask yourself why were allowed to lose to one of the few teams that were worse of in the League than we were. Simple answer: The players. If Marlon Broomes had signed for us instead of the Owls, we would have the solidity we desperately need in our back line. Instead, we lost a good defender because the chairman was not willing to cough up the necessary readies. After yesterday's no show, he could regret that decision.

Brett Angell may be getting on, but he should yesterday why he was once a Premiership squad player with Everton. We need that bite and quick. Phil Jevons needs to recapture his promise and fire in the goals. At the present time however, it looks like The Mariners are heading for the murky depths of Division 2. And after yesterday, Lennie must be on borrowed time. But the sad fact is the passion that took us to the dizzy heights of top spot is no longer there. The Marlon Broomes fiasco just heightens our side plight. The talent is there, it's just producing it week in, week out. Christmas is now more important than ever, games must be won.

Perhaps we should take a leaf from Middlesborough's book last seasons. They brought in Terry Venables to help troubled boss Bryan Robson and it worked a treat. Bring Lennie some support and I'm sure we will weather this latest storm. But action must be taken soon. Maybe Lennie should bid farewell. But maybe the answer could lie closer to home. Face facts: Stuart Campbell is good but raw. Wayne Burnett is a liability. We need someone like Kevin Donovan and Kingsley Black to give us some width. Someone like Neil Redfearn. He may be a coach now, but we need someone like him.

Whatever happens, there are dark days ahead after the good work against Wednesday counted for nothing.

It's sink or swim time. Don't let us down boys

Ray Lucas


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