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Birmingham Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 28/03/2002

A TRULY breathtaking day that saw Grimsby sign three players and a loanee until the end of the season finally draws to an end and now the attention will turn to the starting line-up for the game at Birmingham on Saturday.

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

Steve Livingstone and David Smith are definite non-starters for the Mariners, while decisions on both Tony Gallimore and Bradley Allen will not be made until last-minute, although Allen looks likeliest to sit out with a hamstring injury.

Danny Coyne will be available to Town after his second half showing for Wales in midweek, and impressive Charlton centre back Andy Todd wasn't snapped up on Deadline Day so that leaves him available for the match at St Andrews.

The acquisition of four players in a 24-hour period has bolstered the numbers at the club but it is unlikely that all four will play a part in the Birmingham game. Robert Taylor is still recovering from the Achilles injury he sustained while on loan at Town in February. He will play no part in the Easter weekend games.

Paul Robinson and experienced campaigner Willie Falconer will be contesting for a starting place alongside Michael Boulding up front. Terry Cooke could feature at some point in the game but that would involve dropping the in-form Butterfield or Campbell.

The manager will make a late decision on whether to continue with Stacy Coldicott in midfield, or draft it Wayne Burnett.

The Birmingham team news is that Wimbledon's Northern Ireland international Michael Hughes has signed on loan until the end of the season and it is likely that he will go straight in the side in time for the game against Grimsby.

He would partner either Darren Carter or Bryan Hughes in midfield, whilst Stern John and Tommy Mooney look favourites for the front two places. Michael Johnson and Oliver Teliby should continue for the Blues in central defence.

Former Sheffield United winger Paul Devlin will start on the right of midfield with Tom Williams on the left, while Stan Lazaridis continues to push for a starting place.

John McCarthy was the only player to leave Birmingham on Deadline day; he has gone to Hillsborough for the rest of the season on loan. He may well feature against Town on April 1 when Wednesday are the visitors.

Grimsby are the form team of the division over the past six games, winning four, drawing one and losing one - that's 13 points from a possible 18. Birmingham have won two, drawn two and lost two of their last six - a total of eight points from 18.

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