The Opposition View: Grimsby Town

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 13 March 2017

What's your assessment of Grimsby's season with ten games to go and is promotion a realistic target?

We are currently four points from the play-offs which is much better than I expected after six years in non-league. We were in the play-offs for a couple of months but a manager change mid-season disrupted our flow but we now seem to be gelling with some very encouraging performances, but I do not expect to make play offs as we are too inconsistent.

I'd say our chances of making the play-offs are maybe 15 - 20%, unlikely but still possible, and should we manage to sneak in them we would be the underdogs.

What did you think of the reverse fixture back in December?

I remember thinking that we were gonna hang on for a very lucky draw before Pompey's excellent free kick won it for them.

On the basis of play it was a fully deserved victory and I was very impressed with Portsmouth that day. Your fans were the best at Blundell Park I have seen in years.

Is Ben Davies likely to make an appearance on Tuesday? How has he performed since his injury?

Since returning from injury Ben has mainly been on the bench as, with the exception of the shambolic 5-0 defeat at Crewe, our defence has been excellent and so it has been tough for him to force his way back in.

However, with this being the second of back-to-back long away trips Bignot has said he will be utilising a lot of the squad over these games so he may well play a part against his former club.

Who is the main man for you now Omar Bogle has departed and who are the other key men in the Grimsby squad?

Our key men at the moment would be Danny Andrew; our left back who loves to bomb forward and has a superb left foot on him, so much of our play seems to start from him recently.

Up front Callum Dyson on loan from Everton and Sam Jones who signed on deadline day after Bogle's exit are forming an excellent partnership and we are suddenly looking much more threatening again going forward.

Jamey Osborne signed from Bignot's old club Solihull Moors has been a fantastic signing and he will definitely follow in Bogle's footsteps by eventually moving up the ladder. He's way too good for a League Two team.

Last time you mentioned your team's pace as their biggest strength and defensive mistakes as their biggest weakness. Has anything changed since then?

Of those pacey players mentioned last time only Bolarinwa is still here so we no longer damage teams as much with pace, whilst our defending has significantly improved to where we are second only to Portsmouth in clean sheets kept. (15 Pompey vs 14 Grimsby, I believe).

What kind of match can we expect at Fratton Park and would you take a draw now?

I would expect a very entertaining game with two teams who both like to try and play proper football. If you offered me a point now I would snap your hand off.

Predict the outcome of the game.

I think Pompey will just have too much for us so I'll go for a 2-1 defeat.

Portsmouth Match Reports

Sky Bet League One Sat 18th November 15:00

Portsmouth 1 - 0 Southend United

Last game - Match Centre


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