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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Bristol City Team News

By: Richard Lord
Date: 30/01/2004

GRIMSBY boss Paul Groves is expected to bring in a mystery loan player in time to face Bristol City this weekend. The identity of the player remains a secret but it is likely that he will go straight into the first team.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Bristol City (h)


The Mariners are without a home win in the league since mid-October when they beat Notts County 2-0. Bristol City, on the other hand, have won their last seven games on the trot.

They also boast the division's meanest defence, having conceded 21 goals in their 28 league games to date. Their last league defeat came at the end of November when they lost 1-0 at Blackpool.

The good news for Grimsby is that Tony Crane is set to partner Mike Edwards in defence, which means Simon Ford will drop to the bench. Stuart Campbell and Darren Barnard are both eyeing a return.

John McDermott has been ruled out for the foreseeable future after deciding to gain medical advice on a hernia operation. Nick Daws should start in midfield despite receiving treatment on his ankle.

Groves will have to decide whether to partner Mick Boulding with Darren Mansaram or Iffy Onuora against a defence that will offer very few sights on goal.

Meanwhile Bristol City will be giving a late fitness test to their club captain Tommy Doherty after he suffered a knee injury in the week. He is expected to retain his place, but Joe Burnell will be on standby.

Defender Tony Butler remains a doubt following two weeks out with a rib injury. That means Coles and Hill will make up the central defensive partnership for Bristol City.

It only seemed a few weeks ago when Plymouth and QPR opened up a sizeable gap at the top, but that has been reduced to two points following City's impressive run of form.

They are seven points ahead of Barnsley in fourth position, and ten points ahead of Brighton who are just outside the playoffs.

However, the Mariners showed against Plymouth that they have the ability to give the best teams in this division a tough game, but confidence will have taken a knock from the two heavy defeats since.




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