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Fri 24/03
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Russia v Ivory Coast
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Sat 25/03
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Boulding Believes He Has Improved His Game

By: Richard Lord
Date: 25/03/2002

GRIMSBY Town's top scorer Michael Boulding has laid praise on the management team after he revealed he has felt an improvement on his own game since they took over at the end of December.

Saturday's performance from the former Mansfield striker showed why he gave up a tennis career to pursue a more lucrative one in football. And now the 25-year old is reaping the rewards that come with scoring a hat-trick.

Speaking to the Grimsby Telegraph Boulding said: "I have never scored a hat-trick as a professional, it was fantastic. I can't remember when the last time was at any level - probably when I was having a kick-around with some other tennis players.

"I feel like I have improved a massive amount, and that is completely due to Grovesy, Grez (Graham Rodger) and Paul Wilkinson who have given me so much belief and helped me technically. I feel like I have really improved and I owe all that to them."

The nine-goal striker insists the Mariners were never staring relegation in the face even when they were six points away from safety.

Boulding continued: "Six weeks ago we were six points adrift and everyone had completely written us off apart from a few people here.

"We've completely turned that round. It is an unbelievable run, and if we had been mid-table before we would be pushing for promotion.

"The team has been great, and this on the back of the result last week is fantastic - we couldn't have asked for a better result.

"On paper it will look like an absolute routing, but it wasn't like that. I was expecting a lot better from them, and while we didn't play great in the first half, they weren't fantastic either."

Boulding held special praise for manager Paul Groves and revealed the secret behind his highly effective team talks. "The manager is fantastic with his team talks, he got us going again and got us believing in our cause, and told us we were a lot better than them - and it showed in the second half.

"After the first penalty we started to really believe, and from then on we just steamrollered them. Everyone wanted the ball, gaps seemed to appear everywhere, the passing was a lot better, and everyone was going forward. We really put the pressure on them."

Quick Mick gave his view on the second penalty, saying: "I didn't want the 'keeper to go. I got up as quick as I could, but the rules are the rules."

And he concluded: "It is incredible what has happened over the past six weeks. We are a team really in form now, but we have got to keep our feet on the ground, look after ourselves over the next week and go into our next game firing on all cylinders."



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