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Should Start Today
Should Start Today

At's Off to Grimsby!

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 01/11/2008

MIKE Newell has made his second loan signing of the week, securing the services of Barnsley's Rob Atkinson for a month at Blundell Park. Atkinson, who impressed at Grimsby last season and who former boss Alan Buckley tried to sign permanently in the summer, is available for Saturday's game.

Ironically it was the signing of Atkinson last season, along with Doncaster's Sam Hird, that ended a terrible run last season, and help catapult the Mariners towards the right end of the table. Atkinson's first game for Grimsby was an impressive 3-0 win at Barnet. He then went on to play in seven consecutive wins for the Mariners, conceding just 2 goals, and even scoring one at the other end against Chester.

With the Mariners now on an even worse sequence of results, a record-breaking 21 matches without a win stretching back eight months, the talismanic Atkinson is once again the player who can break the spell.

Since leaving Blundell Park last season the 21-year-old has not made an appearance for Barnsley, and Town may well have the chance to sign him for longer than just the initial month, as they did last year when he eventually signed on a season-long loan.

Atkinson joins another former hero at Blundell Park in Jean Paul Kalala, who has also signed on loan until the start on January, and is available permanently after that.

The Congolese international told the Grimsby Telegraph: "I'm pleased to be back and hopefully I can get a few games under my belt.

"I want to contribute to Grimsby and help get a few results. That's the most important thing. We need to do that and lift the place. More than me, it is about the team. There is still a cushion on the relegation spots."

Kalala believes the team's position in the league is a false one saying, "Even after just one training session, I don't think there is a lot wrong with the team. It's a fine line sometimes between winning and losing a football game."

Grim Rob Says What a fantastic signing and well done to everyone at BP for getting a player where we are probably weakest. Atkinson played well in a 3 man defence last season, but I imagine would be equally happy alongside someone like Ryan Bennett in a 4-4-2 system.

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