Curle wary of the threat of struggling Mariners

Grimsby Town may be managerless and without a win in their past eight games, but Keith Curle has warned his Cobblers team they will come up against an opposition with 'some very good players' at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 11:01 am
Cobblers boss Keith Curle

The Mariners have been going through a tough time of it in recent weeks.

They haven't won a match in any competition since September 28, losing six of their past eight games - including an ugly 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient.

That was a run of form that ultimately cost boss Michael Jolley his job, although a foul-mouthed rant at a local radio journalist didn't do him any favours on that score either.

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On Wednesday night, interim manager Anthony Limbrick took charge of his first game in an FA Cup first round replay at Newport County.

He watched his injury-hit team lose 2-0 - with front man Matt Green the latest to be struck down as he limped off in the second half, on the back of strike partner James Hanson not making the starting line-up at all.

To add to their woes, they also had midfielder Matthew Pollock sent off in the last minute.

With the Cobblers currently flying, having won five of their past six matches in all competitions, they will be strong favourites to extend that run this weekend - but Curle is wary of the visitors.

"It might be slightly different now because of the information we have had from their game (at Newport) on Wednesday night, but they have had a focal point of Green and Hanson up front," said Curle.

"They play the ball forward, they get after the ball forward, and they have good technicians who can recycle play and put the ball in the box at every opportunity.

"With the target men they have got they can cause any defence in this division problems.

"They have a structure and a format of how they play, but with a new interim manager coming in, he will have his own ideas of how he wants the game to be played.

"They played very well for the first 45 minutes on Wednesday night in the FA Cup game, and then ran out of steam a little bit in the second half."

The cup replay was Grimsby's first game for 11 days, as the league clash between the same two sides - scheduled for last Saturday - was called off due to three international call-ups for the Welsh side.

The Mariners have also had a home game against Cheltenham postponed on October 22 due to a waterlogged pitch, while a week later they made the long trip to Plymouth, only for the game to be called off due to high winds!

"They haven't played a lot of games in the past three or four weeks as they have had games suspended, and they have gone through a lot of turmoil as well," said Curle.

"But that doesn't dilute in any way, shape or form, the fact that they have some very good players.

"I think they have got three games in hand, and if they win those three games in hand then they will be within touching distance of the play-offs, or in the play-offs themselves.

"They are no mugs, and they have good players."

Curle will be looking for a repeat performance from his players following their 4-1 dismantling of Crewe Alexandra last weekend.

"Against Crewe we were clinical," said the Town boss.

"When we got on the front foot, you could tell there was an atmosphere of anticipation that came from the terraces, that we were going to score goals.

"We need to recreate that, and we need that expectancy from the supporters because we need them behind us."