Interview With Grimsby Editor
Gary Spate of Vital Grimsby answers some pressing questions about the Grimsby/Swindon Town match on Saturday.
1. How has your season gone so far?
Having narrowly missed out on promotion last term we were all hopeful of successful season. Sadly though the club promoted Graham Rodger to the manager's job following the departure of Russell Slade to Yeovil. Graham's lack of contacts in the game and limited tactical knowledge proved to be the wrong decision as we plummeted to the relegation zone. He was then sacked and replaced by Grimsby Town legend Alan Buckley (for this third spell). He made a promising start but by tinkering with the formations we went on a seven game losing streak which included the demoralising 4-1 defeat against bottom club Torquay United. Since that game however the players seemed to have been given a kick up the backside and are now on a run of six wins out of the last seven making us the current the second best team in the form table (one point behind league leaders Hartlepool). So all in all you could say it's been an up-and-down season for Grimsby so far.
2. Which player should Swindon Town fans look out for?
It's hard to say really when they've all played magnificently over the last six weeks. I would probably have to go for midfield maestro Paul Bolland who seems to be the engine for the team. His fantastic linkup play between the defence and the strikers have been blinding. He knows where the goal is too, as does fellow midfield man Ciaran Toner.
3. What is the status of Michael Reddy?
It must be a very distressing time for Reddy at the moment. From being one of the club's best players last season to now be unable to get a game through injury. Only yesterday chairman John Fenty admitted that he probably won't be a Grimsby Town player after this season. He's definately not in contention for a place in Saturday's game.
4. What has been your favourite memory this season?
It has to be the 6-0 thrashing of Boston United, our Lincolnshire rivals, at their ground. That's one way to end our seven game losing streak!
5. Where do you think you will finish this season?
We have some difficult games ahead, five out of the remaining nine games are against promotion chasers so we can't afford to get careless. I believe we will probably finish 12th this season.
6. What do you know about Swindon Town ?
I must admit I'm not fully clued up on Swindon Town except to say that they've only ever beaten Grimsby Town at Blundell Park four times in history, the most recent in 2003 with Mooney and (if I recall correctly) Gurney spoiling the Mariners' half time 1-0 lead courtesy of Michael Boulding. I've never been to the County Ground, in fact I've never been to Swindon at all. I've heard lots of nice things about the place though (thanks for the fiver Gary!)
7. If you could have one Swindon Town player in your squad who would it be?
Our squad has proven that if they set their mind to it they can beat some of the best teams in the division so I'm pretty happy with the current set of players at the club. I would like to see a proven goalscorer join the club though so I'd probably go for Lee Peacock. Curtis Weston would probably be my second choice if we needed another option in midfield.
8. Which teams do you think will get promoted to League One?
Obviously Hartlepool will definately be going up unless they have a sudden change un fortune but as they are the form team at the moment (as the table reflects) it looks unlikely they will falter. I honestly believe Swindon have what it takes to beat Walsall to the second automatic spot. I think (although it pains me to say it) Lincoln City will be the playoff winners. They lost against us in the playoff semi finals last season so I think there's a hunger there to go all the way this time.
9. Which team has impressed you the most this season?
Accrington Stanley! From being the butt of everyone's jokes (including in the milk adverts) they've excelled themselves to get into league football and they're not even in the relegation zone (albeit only because goal difference is on their side). It will be a travesty for them if the FA decide to impose the points reductions but they will only have themselves to blame.
10. What is your prediction for Saturday?
With Swindon struggling to score away from home Grimsby should hopefully take advantage of that. Swindon won't be pushovers though so I'll go for a safe 1-1.
We thank Gary for taking time to answer our questions. Please visit his site at http://grimsby.vitalfootball.co.uk