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Forest Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 21/02/2002

AFTER a win over Sheffield United last week and the arrival of two new players, the Mariners will want to back up their win with another against cash strapped Forest.

Home > 2001-2002 Season > Previews > Forest (a)

The Bottom Line

Enthusiasm and optimism is rife amongst Mariners fans at the moment. A win over Sheffield United at Blundell Park last Saturday through a Stuart Campbell goal gave Town fans real belief that they could stay in the division. In reality, the task is still very hard, but there is no doubting that the club are pulling in the same direction. The Grimsby Telegraphs "Up the Mariners" campaign has also boosted confidence, and Thursdays signings of Charlton Athletic duo Andy Todd and Martin Pringle has really made Town fans think that they can stay up. All of this depends on what happens in the next month, and with games coming thick and fast Towns fate will be decided.

Nottingham Forest meanwhile, have had a much more comfortable season staying roundabout mid table for the whole campaign. But they will want to win this game to try and make sure that they themselves don't get caught up in a relegation dogfight. Indeed, some people may have thought that the Forest team would be severely weakened by the loss of Stern John and Jermaine Jenas. However, a 1-1 draw at Burnley last week (which was nearly a win if it wasn't for a last minute goal) showed that the Reds can cope without those two players. The sale of Stern John of course means that former Town striker Jack Lester is an almost certain starter, making the fixture even more exciting.

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Martin Pringle

Mariners' fans are delighted that manager Paul Groves has managed to capture the signing of former Benfica striker Martin Pringle. Signed in 1999 by Charlton boss Alan Curbishley for £800,000, Pringle has not featured in the first team for a year after sustaining a serious shin injury. Therefore the 6 foot 2 striker, who has 2 caps for Sweden, jumped at the chance to join the Mariners, and will go straight into the team for the game at Forest, which will make him a danger to the home sides defence.

Jack Lester

Mariners' fans of course know all about Jack Lester. The Sheffield-born striker played for Grimsby from 1996 until 2000 when he was snapped up by ex Forest boss David Platt for a bargain £300,000. Known for mesmerising defences and being able to effectively hold up the ball, Lester is now a first team player at the City Ground and will be looking to get a goal against his former team now that he is now a first choice striker with partner Marlon Harewood.

Town Team News

  • Loan duo Martin Pringle and Andy Todd are both expected to start the match. Todd will replace Paul Raven who is out injured for a fortnight, while Pringle will replace either Bradley Allen or Michael Boulding.
  • Elsewhere, the only other injured player is Steve Livingstone who may not play until next season.

  • Forest Team News

  • Defender Riccardo Scimeca missed last weeks draw at Burnley, but could come back into the team in place of youngster John Thompson.
  • Elsewhere only long term injury victims Andy Gray and Tony Vaughan will not be available for selection.

  • Expected Line Ups


    Danny Coyne
    Excellent shot stopper who has had yet another brilliant season between the posts. Joined the club in 1999 on a free from Tranmere Rovers.
    John McDermott
    Town's longest serving player and league appearance holder. Been injured for most of the season but is now fully fit and will play only his fourth game of 2002.
    Paul Groves
    Long-serving Town player, Groves is now the Mariners player/boss and has been given the difficult task of keeping the club in the division.
    Andy Todd
    Aggressive player who signed on loan for Town on Thursday from Charlton. Experienced defender who can also play at right back and in midfield.
    Tony Gallimore (c)
    Accomplished left back who has had another consistent season, but will play his last game before his three match suspension.
    Stuart Campbell
    Versatile midfielder who signed for the Mariners permanently this summer after a loan spell last season. Scored the winner on Saturday.
    Stacy Coldicott
    Aggressive midfield player who is in his fourth season with the club after joining Town in 1998 for £160,000
    Alan Pouton
    Former York City midfielder who is expected to return to the side alongside Stacy Coldicott after serving a one game ban last week.
    Danny Butterfield
    Versatile and tidy player who can play at right back, central midfield or on the wing. Last week he played on the wing and is expected to stay there on Saturday.
    Bradley Allen
    Experienced forward who was given his first start of 2002 last weekend and played a major part in Town's win.
    Martin Pringle
    Experienced player who has been drafted in on a month's loan from Charlton and is expected to go straight into the starting eleven.
    Darren Ward
    Welsh goalkeeper who is ahead of Town keeper Danny Coyne in Wales' pecking order. Signed in the summer from Notts County on a free.
    Mattieu Louis-Jean
    French right back who was hampered by injuries last season, but is enjoying a better season this campaign where he is now a regular first team player.
    Riccardo Scimeca
    Former Aston Villa defender who was an England under 21 international. Signed in 1999 for £3 million, and is now comfortable in the centre of defence.
    Jon Olav Hjelde
    Commanding centre half who spent four months on the sidelines last season, but is now fully fit again and has formed a strong partnership with Ricky Scimeca.
    Jim Brennan
    Since the sale of Alan Rodgers to Leicester earlier in the season, full back Jim Brennan has made the left back spot his after a miserable season last year.
    David Prutton
    Highly rated midfield player who is a regular England under 21 squad member and is tipped to go on to better things.
    Gareth Williams
    Creative midfield player who has been a regular in Paul Harts team this season after being restricted to just 13 appearances last season.
    Andy Reid
    Another one of Forest's young talents who made his debut last season when he scored a goal against Sheffield united in November 2000. Can operate down the left or up front.
    Nicky Summerbee
    Experienced winger who is on a short term contract at the City Ground after an unsuccessful spell with Bolton last season.
    Jack Lester
    Tricky striker who was signed by David Platt from Town in 1999. Has since become a crowd favourite in Nottingham.
    Marlon Harewood
    Strong, quick striker whose muscular presence causes problems for any striker. After being on the fringes of the team last season, he is now a regular.

    Wayne Burnett
    Michael Boulding
    Simon Ford
    Phil Jevons
    Steve Croudson (GK)
    Barry Roche
    Kevin Dawson
    John Thompson
    Eugen Bopp
    Brian Cash (GK)

    Last Time Out

    The last time Town played Forest was when Town were riding high in fourth place at the top of the table. How things have changed. Since then Town have plummeted down the table, while Forest have remained mid table. This 0-0 draw at Blundell Park sparked off a run that saw Town fail to win in nine league games. The draw was watched by Towns highest gate of the season, with over 8,000 fans present.

    Grimsby: Coyne, McDermott, Gallimore, Groves, Beharall, Pouton, Campbell, Butterfield, Willems, Rowan, Jevons.
    Subs: Ermes, Jeffrey, Allen, Broomes, Burnett.  Report

    Forest Head-to-Head (79th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Fishy Prediction

    Town need to get something out of this match, and although it will be tough, I fancy them to get a draw.

    Prediction: 1-1 Draw. Reader's POMs


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