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The Grimsby Telegraph On The Wilko Sacking!

By: The Grimsby Telegraph
Date: 29/05/2003

THE Grimsby Telegraph in its report of the sacking of Paul Wilkinson said today that Wilkinson's departure is the second major loss in the backroom staff following the club's decision to part company with Ian Knight 12 months ago and heaps more pressure on player/boss Paul Groves.

"The loss of Wilko will anger many at the club - including the players - and it is understood Groves fought tooth and nail to keep his man.

The home-town hero - who shot to fame in 1984 with a last-minute goal in the Mariners' famous 1-0 fourth round Milk Cup win at Everton - has been a major factor in unearthing young talent in recent seasons with centre-back Simon Ford heading the list.

Wilkinson returned to Blundell Park in October 2000 on a rolling contract and has been hailed by many of the players for his coaching ability.

He had proved invaluable and helped ease the pressure on Groves with constant scouting missions - as well as having excellent contacts in the game.

He is largely regarded as the man who transformed Mick Boulding into one of the most feared strikers in the first division before his move to Aston Villa a year ago.

But with Town desperate to avoid financial meltdown the board have said that they had no option but to make the cuts.

Today's moves will crank up the pressure and workload on manager Groves and his assistant Graham Rodger who now face transforming the squad with a reduced scouting network and without a reserve team coach.

Groves faces a further headache starting tomorrow when his personal assistant leaves Blundell Park after resigning. It is understood she will not be immediately replaced, forcing the manager into more paperwork. END

Ed: The Grimsby Telegraph report almost certainly reflects the opinion of many of the supporters who hold Paul Wilkinson in high regard. Many of the players have said often how Wilko has improved their game and how good he was working with them.

People like Wilko are worth every penny and his dismissal is a very short sighted move by the board.

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