SATURDAY sees yet another all-important game for the Mariners as they host Sheffield Wednesday at Blundell Park following last week's 4-4 draw with Chesterfield, which meant that new manager Nicky Law has still failed to win a game whilst in charge.
Chris Turner returned to Hillsbrough last season from Hartlepool where he had guided the North East team to the summit of Division Three. He joined the Owls with the massive task of keeping them in Division One. Eventually they were relegated on the last day of last season, but his task of rebuilding has begun this season and despite a poor start to the season, Wednesday are starting to show signs of improvement. A former Wednesday keeper, Turner knows it will take time to turn a club round that has problems both on and off the field.
Wednesday have built a squad that on paper, is one of the strongest in the division. Back in goal after being told only a month or two ago that he could leave the club, is Kevin Pressman, veteran of over 450 games for the Owls. One of the highlights of this season for the Owls has to be the performances of Guylain Ndumbu Nsungu, who boasts one the most un-pronounceable names ever to grace the English Leagues! The Congo striker is on loan from French club Amiens and has impressed with some lively and pacy performances. Back in the Wednesday team is ex Town winger Terry Cooke (left) who had a lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury over the Christmas period. Experienced midfielder Robbie Mustoe has also featured recently and scored a last minute winner against Brighton last week. The ex Middlesbrough and Charlton man provides a wealth of experience and know how for the Owls.
Town will welcome back Tony Crane to the side after a 5 match suspension. This comes as a timely boost to Nicky Laws men with Greg Young unavailable after dislocating his shoulder last weekend.
Simon Ford could come in at centre half instead of Crane, but he could well play at right back with Jason Crowe slotting in at left back. Alternatively, Mike Edwards could come into the defence.
This change at left back is enforced because Craig Armstrong cannot play against his parent club, Sheffield Wednesday, whilst Darren Barnard starts a two match ban for reaching his yellow card limit for the season.
This means that in midfield, either John Thorrington, Phil Jevons or Stuart Campbell could be recalled to play on the left hand side of midfield. This depends on whether Nicky Law wants Jevons to play up front instead of Mickael Antoine Curier.
Graham Lee faces a fitness test before Chris Turner decides on his starting eleven for the clash at Blundell Park. Lee missed last weeks game with Brighton through injury.
Paul Mclaren will miss out after hobbling off after just 45 minutes of his reserve team comeback this week.
Meanwhile, Alan Quinn who was on loan at FA Cup semi-finalists Sunderland earlier this season, is suspended and will not take part. Therefore, unless Graham Lee is included, and unchanged lineup from the one that beat Brighton is likely.
Mickael Antoine Curier
Brian Barry Murphy
Last Time Out
Town last met Wednesday in the LDV Vans Trophy back in October, a competition in which Wednesday nearly reached the final, but eventually lost out to Blackpool in the Northern Area Final. The game ended 1-1 after extra time, but Town lost in a penalty shootout, which ended 5-4 to the Owls. Stuart Campbell was the only man to miss from the spot when Kevin Pressman saved his spotkick. Darren Mansaram scored his first of his only two goals so far this season.
Fishy prediction: Four out of the last 5 games between the two sides have ended 0-0, but with Townâ€™s defence, surely this canâ€™t be the final score? Iâ€™ll say, 4-2 to the Mariners, as they have been involved in almost every scoreline apart from that one this season!
This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!