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Rob Atkinson
Rob Atkinson

Buckley Seeks Loan Pair Extension

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/01/2008

HAVING this week secured the services of Doncaster's Sam Hird for another month, Town boss Alan Buckley is now hoping to extend the loan of the right-sided defender until the end of the season. Likewise Buckley is hoping to persuade Barnsley to let Town have Rob Atkinson on loan until May.

With Atkinson due to depart on Feb 2nd and Hird on Feb 16th, Buckley is well aware that Town need to keep the pair for the latter half of the season if they are to have a decent chance of sustaining their good run, which began when the two arrived back in November and Grimsby switched to 3-5-2.

"They have come here and settled in really well" Alan Buckley told the Grimsby Telegraph. "They looked like the sort of lads that wanted to do something for this football club and they have.

"They are good, hungry young players and I think our little change in system has helped them to settle in and look so comfortable in our team. If we lost one or two players in defence we would look a bit thin on the ground so it would be a shame if they had to go back."

Atkinson, who is eligible to play in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Area Final against Morecambe next month, has been the pick of the two, and it would be a huge loss to Grimsby if he were to leave before the Morecambe game, which would see Town progress to a Wembley final if they win the tie against the Lancashire club.

On the likely timetable, Buckley explained: "I have left a message with Richard O'Kelly (Doncaster Rovers assistant manager) to ask if they would agree to let Sam stay for the rest of the season. I am still waiting for him to get back to me, so we are in Doncaster's hands a little bit.

"We're hoping to do the same with Rob Atkinson.His second month's loan doesn't end until February.

"I have already spoken to Simon Davey at Barnsley and he is going to think about it. I do expect that Rob will be here for another month at least."

There has been no suggestion that Grimsby are considering signing either player on a permanent basis.

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