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Wales Start for Barnard

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 10/10/2003

DESPITE hopes to the contrary, Darren Barnard will start for Wales in their crucial Euro 2004 qualifier with Serbia & Montenegro on Saturday, meaning he will be unavailable for Town's game at Brighton. It had been hoped Barnard would not be selected, but injuries have forced Mark Hughes' hand.

"He's going to play for them, going to start, and that's great news for Barney," Paul Groves told the Grimsby Telegraph. "If you're going to lose somebody you'd rather lose them to international duty. It's a great positive for him and the club."

The development makes a start for Iain Anderson more likely, with Jason Crowe now set to move back into defence as Barnard's replacement at left back. Groves could opt for playmaker Graham Hockless, but may favour the experience of Anderson in what could be a tough encounter against league leaders Brighton.

Although Anderson came through the midweek reserve game with Scunthorpe, and is not yet 100% fit, Groves believes Town have missed him for the last eight weeks. "We've missed Ando's goal threat. He scored three in four early on and he's a wide player that can take people on and who can deliver quality balls into the box", said the Town boss.

  • In other new Paul Groves is meeting with the board on Monday to try and get permission to make permanent offers for on-loan pair Nicky Daws and Iffy Onuora. Town still have money earmarked for a new striker, but Groves is hoping to persuade the board to find funds to purchase both players, who have visibly strengthened the side since their arrival.

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