AFTER yet another lacklustre performance last weekend at home to Hartlepool, Town now go head to head with one of their relegation rivals in the shape of Chesterfield, one of manager Nicky Lawâ€™s former clubs.
New manager Nicky Law last week said that Town didnâ€™t have "the bottle" at home to Hartlepool, and it is clear that Town need to find some "bottle" if they are to have any chance of avoiding a second successive relegation. Chesterfield, like Town, are fighting for their lives and after a terrible start to their season, have been in good form over the past few months and lie a point ahead of the Mariners. For Town though, this test will surely show whether the current Mariners players are up for the fight.
Roy McFarland is perhaps one of the most experienced managers in English league football. The 54 year old has managed Derby County, Bradford, Bolton, Cambridge and Torquay. McFarland guided Bolton to the top flight in the early 1990s and also led Cambridge to promotion in the 1998/99 season into the second division. Known for working on a small budget, McFarland was brought in to stabilise Chesterfield in the summer following the dismissal of Dave Rushberry at the end of last season. Despite a poor start to the season, where they failed to win in 14 games, McFarland has given the Spireites fans hope that they could stay in the second division.
Chesterfield have boosted their squad in the last week with the signings of Jamie Fullarton (left), the ex-Crystal Palace midfielder, Mark De Bolla who has joined from Charlton and the last minute signing of French forward Tcham Nâ€™Toya. In goal they can rely upon the experience of Carl Muggleton who rejoined the club in the summer from Cheltenham Town. Gus Uhlenbeek got sent off in the last meeting between the two sides in September, but brings a wealth of experience having played for Tranmere, Bradford and Sheffield United. Former Middlesbrough midfielder Mark Hudson plays in midfield, whilst striker David Reeves is in the middle of his second spell with the club following a short stay at Oldham last season. In attack, ex Stockport forward Glynn Hurst will provide the main goal threat.
The Mariners will wait of the fitness of striker Isaiah Rankin, but it looks as though Saturday may come too early for the former Bradford striker, and that next week's game with Sheffield Wednesday may be more of a realistic target.
Therefore, Mickael Antoine Curier could come in for Jonathan Rowan. Though neither really impressed in last week's game with Hartlepool, so who will start is not clear.
Jason Crowe will probably replace Mike Edwards at right back, with Edwards moving to the bench.
Jamie Lawrence is expected to go straight into the starting eleven on the right side of midfield. This could mean that Campbell shifts into the middle to partner Stacy Coldicott.
Craig Armstrong could be moved into the centre of defence in favour of Greg Young, with Darren Barnard shifting to left back.
Therefore, who starts on the left wing could be one of either Graham Hockless, Iain Anderson or Stuart Campbell. Anderson, if fit, would be the most obvious choice.
Manager Roy McFarland must decide whether to start any of his new signings: Mark De Bolla, Jamie Fullarton or Tcham Nâ€™Toya. Though a place on the bench would be a more realistic a proposition.
Chesterfield have no further injury problems after their midweek game with Colchester, with the only change possibly coming up front with either Nâ€™Toya or De Bolla coming in for Marvin Robinson.
Mark De Bolla
Last Time Out
Town met Chesterfield at Blundell Park back in August, with the Mariners fielding two new signings that day: Nicky Daws and Iffy Onoura. Town ran out 4-0 winners with Mike Edwards, Graham Hockless, Marcel Cas and Stuart Campbell grabbing the Grimsby goals. Chesterfield had defender Gus Uhlenbeek sent off in a day to forget for the Spireites.
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