Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Brentford Team News
By: Rob Sedgwick
GRIMSBY head to Brentford on Saturday needing to start getting some points in the run up to Christmas to lift themselves away from the bottom of the table. Otherwise Alan Buckley's failure to get the most out of a talented group of players will almost certainly see the end of his job and possibly career,
After the wins over Carlisle and Barnet it seemed that Town had turned a corner. But in the last two games Grimsby have hit rock bottom again and been turned over 3-0 and 4-0 by Huddersfield and Darlo respectively. Town have always had an excuse that they have played two in form sides in Huddersfield and Darlington; Brentford are the opposite, a team sinking down the table with just 1 draw in six games.
Barnet and Huddersfield were in many ways similar games at the start. In both Grimsby absorbed a lot of pressure and Montgomery needed to be at his best to keep Grimsby in the game. The difference was that Town took both their chances in the first half at Underhill; at Huddersfield they did not. Having gone 2-0 up at Barnet it allowed Town to sit back and hit the Bees on the break, whereas at Huddersfield it was Mission Impossible once they had conceded. Likewise on Tuesday, an early goal conceded meant Town were chasing the game virtually from the off.
If the lessons of recent games are to be learned if Town are to beat Brentford they need to avoid conceding an early goal and make the most of their chances at the other end (which we only seem to create with two strikers).
Unfortunately Alan Buckley's chances of bolstering the attack or defence are both limited in the continuing absence of Gary Jones, Justin Whittle and Martin Butler, plus the suspension of Tom Newey. That may mean he has to pick a similar side to Tuesday, although he has the option to play two up front in either a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation. Rankin or Taylor could both partner Danny North.
Brentford, after relegation last season, were one of the favourites to bounce straight back. With former England defender Terry Butcher at the helm, the Bees were many people's choice for automatic promotion, which seemed to be confirmed by their early season form which saw them in a play-off position. 4 defeats out of 5 saw them sink down the table, before two wins in late October against Lincoln and Bradford appeared to have stopped the rot. Since then the Bees have lost the last four league games and are just about the group of clubs immediately in danger of relegation.
The Bees have a small squad which has been boosted by no less than five loan players. Top scorer Lee Thorpe is well known to Grimsby fans having had a loan spell at Blundell Park when he was a Leyton Orient player. He is partnered up front by young Forest striker Emile Sinclair, who is in his first year as a professional. Defenders Lewis Emanuel (Luton) and Ben Starosta (Sheff Utd) and midfielders Sammy Moore (Ipswich) and Ryan Dickson (Plymouth) are the other loanees.
Town's last game at Griffin Park was notable as it was on the day that England won the 2003 Rugby World Cup. As Micky Boulding slid in the mud at Brentford on a very wet October day, little did the adoring Town fans realise that Grimsby would go almost a year before they won on their travels again (the following September at Cambridge). Brentford Record.
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