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Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
|Back at Chester!|
By: Richard Hubbert
AFTER an 11-day break from action, the Mariners return to Blundell Park to face lowly Chester City, when managed Russell Slade will be forced to make changes from the side that lost at Mansfield on Valentineâ€™s Day.
The Mariners will be looking to return to winning ways after losing their last game to Mansfield. Furthermore, after last Saturday's postponement at Rochdale, Town slipped out of the top three for the first time since September. Slade issued a rallying call to all Town fans this week, urging them to come to Blundell Park and get behind the team to help them reclaim an automatic promotion spot.
Slade will be forced to make at least two changes from the starting eleven he sent out at Field Mill a few weeks ago. Gary Croft and Michael Reddy started that game but will both miss out through a one game ban, as will midfielder Jean Paul Kalala. This almost certainly means a start for Gary Jones in attack, who will play alongside either Gary Cohen or Junior Mendes, with Cohen the likelier option.
In defence, Justin Whittle has returned to full training after being out since early January with a knee injury. However, he is lacking match practice and may just sit on the bench with Rob Jones and Ben Futcher continuing at the back. At right back, John McDermott could return to replace the suspended Gary Croft after recovering from a back injury. If Macca is deemed not fit enough to start then Terry Barwick, Ciaran Toner or Gary Cohen could be deployed as a makeshift full back as they have done in recent weeks.
New signing Marc Goodfellow could make his home debut. The transfer window signing from Swansea missed the last two games with a thigh strain. Slade will have to decide between Andy Parkinson, Junior Mendes and Goodfellow for places along the Town flanks. But with Goodfellow just returning to full training, Slade could decide to place him among the substitutes.
Chester visit Blundell Park on the back of an incredible last week. Firstly, Keith Curle departed as manager after losing eleven of his last twelve games. A few days later, Mark Wright, who walked out on the club days before the start of the 2004/05 season, was reinstalled as manger. Wright was suspended and then sacked from Peterborough last month on grounds of gross misconduct. The former Liverpool defender had previously guided Chester to promotion from the Conference in 2004 and will be at the Deva Stadium until the end of the season.
Wright has eased his injury worries at the back with the loan capture of Doncaster defender Mark Albrighton. Dave Artell and Luke Dimech are both rated doubtful so the new boss has quickly made a move to plug their already leaky backline. Albrighton is expected to go straight into the starting eleven though who joins him, remains to be seen. Wright has already said that the slate has been wiped clean and all places in his side are up for grabs. Therefore, we could see a very different Chester side from the one that slid to a 2-0 defeat at home to Orient last weekend.
Quick Form Guide
GRIMSBY: Mildenhall, McDermott, Newey, Futcher, R.Jones, Mendes, Parkinson, Bolland, Woodhouse, Cohen, G.Jones.
Subs: Goodfellow, Toner, Barwick, Whittle, Downey.
CHESTER CITY (from): Gillett, McNiven, Hessey, Regan, Vaughan, Walker, Drummond, El Kholti, Curtis, Davies, Dove, Tait, Asamoah, Branch, Richardson, Blundell, Dimech, Artell.
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