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Shrewsbury Team News
By: Richard Lord
WITH Northampton Town and Leyton Orient breathing down the Mariners' necks in the promotion race, manager Russell Slade has been preparing his side to face Shrewsbury on Saturday at Blundell Park - a side making a late charge for the play-offs.
The Shrews have won three out of their last four games and recorded a 2-2 draw at Carlisle not long before that sequence of results. Their hope to make a top seven finish was given added gravitas last weekend when they took all three points from Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground.
Gary Peters has done a good job at Gay Meadow since he joined the club in November 2004. Although Shrewsbury battled against relegation last season, Peters guided them to safety, eventually finishing eleven points clear from relegated Kidderminster.
This season the Shrews have relied on very good home form - they've only been beaten on three occasions in front of their own fans - although their away form has been indifferent. However, with that recent Wrexham win under their belts, they'll be carrying some confidence into the game against Grimsby.
The two teams played out a 0-0 draw back in October when the league was still taking shape. Now both sets of players know exactly what is required of them on Saturday - and neither manager will accept anything but a win from their side.
The Mariners have lost two of their last three games but the 2-0 win over Wrexham was their fifth consecutive home win. Only Torquay have lost more away games than the Shrews this season, but form counts for a lot during this part of the campaign.
Gary Cohen is the major injury concern for Town this weekend, although both Rob Jones and Michael Reddy have missed training this week. Curtis Woodhouse has been struggling with a hip injury for some time now, although he is expected to make the side.
Shrewsbury have lost top scorer Colin McMenamin through suspension. The Glaswegian striker netted a penalty at Wrexham and then got sent off. However, Peters has acquired some decent players since he took over the reigns 17 months ago, with Glynn Hurst and Mark Stallard being just two of them.
It is likely to be a tight contest although if Town's overall home form is anything to go by - and if the same can be presumed from Shrewsbury's overall away record - then the Mariners should beat the visitors if they really want to achieve promotion this season.
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