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Wed 26/07
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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

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Weak yes
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Oxford United Game - The Inquest

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 07/03/2005

RUSSELL Slade said that Saturday's game against Oxford Unitedy was a typical Mariners performance in recent weeks - stuggling in the first half and coming out and dominating the second period

On Mariners Net he said; "Nobody took the game by the scruff of the neck in the first period, in the second period I though we put them under pressure. I thought that we had a match winner in Andy Parkinson. He held the ball up, he caused them problems in the second half." he said.

"A little mention for loan signing Matt Harrold. He's worked exceptionally hard for us, and his work-load was shared a little bit when Gritts came on in the second half.

"What more can I ask. He's come, he's scored goal, he hasn't done any work with us because I didn't get him until Friday afternoon."

Slade confirmed that Martin Gritton had been under the weather and travelled down to Oxford by car.

"It wasn't worth risking him and secondly I wanted to change things," he said. "At the end of the day goals win football matches. The fact that we got one early certainly helped our cause."

On Williams he said; "Willows not had a great game with his hands. Once in the first half when he looked like he was trying to pick up a bar of soap, and then towards the end. To be fair to him, he missed the first one and got the second one, but to be fair Forbey's kicked it out of his hands. That was a scary moment for us."

Oxford United's head coach, Horacio Rodriguez, was furious that his team had again conceded a lead to slump to a 2-1 home defeat to Grimsby.

"That is now three games in which we have been leading in the first half but have lost it in the second. It is a lack of concentration and I am very unhappy about it," He said on the Oxford United official site.

Midfielder Barry Quinn was devastated by the defeat and told Yellow World:

"It seems to be the same old story. I think that's three of the last four games now that we've gone a goal up and ended up getting beaten. It's a mental thing. Their goal came straight after half time and it's all about concentrating. The lads are all absolutely devastated to have lost.

"The dressing room is silent, and the lads are just so disappointed for the fans. There is no one more frustrated than ourselves. There is no finger pointing going on at all, but as a team we have to focus and do the unpretty things better, just to get a cushion in games and then see things through. We need to make it a game that's not 'nice' to play in.

"It hurts, and will hurt right through to the next game. I do feel for the fans but we have to be mentally strong and train hard on Monday and see if we can bounce back. It is going to be hard work to achieve what we set out to do ths season, which is frustrating because we know we are capable of doing it. But it is a mental thing and until it's impossible we will fight for everything."

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