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Groves Relieved to be in the Hat

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 06/01/2002

GRIMSBY manager Paul Groves was relieved to still be in the cup after a lacklustre performance against Third Division York. "I'm disappointed that we weren't able to break them down and create better chances. We had enough of the ball really but were unable to do that" said the Town boss.

Town employed their new 5-3-2 formation for the fifth succesive game, which Groves feels is keeping the goals out, but not helping in the final third of the pitch. "This system his served us well defensively. It's another clean sheet. In the games that we've played with it we haven't had too many where we've been on top and had possession. We didn't have enough quality in terms of our passing which wasn't good enough at times."

Groves felt Town's biggest hurdle to overcome had been their own defending after three matches in close succession: "We didn't create enough chances to break them down and score a goal. In terms of what they threw at us we caused our own problems. They didn't really create anything to open us up. It was our sloppy play at times that let them in."

The injury situation at Blundell Park is expected to ease slightly soon with Stuart Campbell, Jonathan Rowan and Paul Raven all expected to be vying for first team places over the course of the next few games. "I think you've got to remember that we've played three games in ten days. We used the same bodies so we need to try and get some fresh legs on. We'll give one or two a run out in the reserves and maybe they'll be a little bit nearer" said Groves.

Looking forward to the replay a week on Tuesday the new Grimsby player-manager, who is unbeaten in his first three games after being elevated overnight from club captain to the Blundell Park hotseat, commented: "It might be a different game there. They play the same sort of system as us, but they might have to come out at us at York and try and go for the game more - which obviously leaves a few holes. We're in the next hat. I don't think it was a brilliant game but there's nothing to be that despondent about."

On his performance so far in the Blundell Park hotseat Derby-born Groves said: "You know it's going to come don't you. I sat there last week and I was aware: 'You're not going to win every game'. We haven't had an opportunity to bed anything down, to do any work with the players. Outside it's been freezing, we haven't been able to get on any grass or do any work so when it came to trying to break them down you need some ideas in your head, a little bit more quality."

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