Looking ahead to tonight’s Sky Bet League Two match away at Grimsby Town, we caught up with James Findlater, Journalist of Grimsby Live to talk all things Mariners…
- How do you assess Grimsby's first half of the season?
“Hit and miss really. The first month or so promised so much, and it looked like Town would have a genuine chance of challenging for the play-offs this season.
“Then, after a hugely impressive 3-1 win away at Exeter, everything fell apart. They couldn’t buy a win – or a goal for that matter – and then-manager Michael Jolley left under a cloud after a post-match tirade at the local radio station.
“Things looked to be really petering out, and a relegation battle seemed on the cards until Ian Holloway arrived.
“His appointment was a real coup for the club, and he’s brought about a response from the players and the fans. The last couple of results haven’t gone Town’s way, but they don’t look like a side who should find themselves in trouble now.”
- When Stevenage last played the Mariners back in October, the club were hovering around the play-off spots. What has gone wrong in their slip down the table?
“The club have had an issue with long winless runs over the last couple of years. Each time they look to be rediscovering some form, they’ll go through a spell which puts the brakes on their progress.
“Injuries haven’t helped this season, but under the previous manager, it just seemed like he was searching for the best approach without getting the results, and things just went a bit stale both on the pitch and in the stands.
“Holloway’s arrival has rejuvenated everyone, and hopefully it can lead to Town climbing back up the table.”
- What's the style of play been like since Ian Holloway had come in?
“Town’s style is much easier on the eye since Holloway’s arrival. He’s very eager to have his team passing and moving, and hitting their opponents quickly.
“On Saturday against Crawley, they weren’t quite able to maintain that level of performance across the whole 90 minutes, but it does seem like the sort of thing that will take time to perfect.”
- Any team news going into the game?
“Defender Luke Waterfall is back from suspension after being sent off against Mansfield earlier this month, while striker Matt Green should be able to make his return from injury, although he will likely be named on the bench.
“Ahkeem Rose, who scored at Stevenage back in October, is out with a hamstring problem, while Jordan Cook and Harry Davis will also miss out through injury.”
- What kind of game can the Boro fans expect on Tuesday?
“Town seem to be rediscovering the attacking intent they appeared to have lost for so long before the turn of the year, and the fact they scored two goals in a game for the first time since September on Saturday will come as a big boost.
“It’s probably the first game under Holloway where fans will be fully expecting to win, so it’ll be interesting to see how the players respond to that level of expectation.
“But given the performances so far, they should be able to rise to the occasion, and based on recent games, it should be an entertaining watch for any travelling fans!”
- Prediction and goalscorers?
“I will go for a 2-0 win to Town, with James Hanson and Billy Clarke getting the all-important goals.”