Braintree defeat in 2011 put Grimsby Town on 'the right track', says Rob Scott
GRIMSBY Town return to the scene of perhaps their most humbling defeat in years tonight – but joint boss Rob Scott insists his side are better equipped this time around.
In only the second game of last season, the Mariners lost 5-0 to what was then a recently-promoted Braintree outfit at the Amlin Stadium.
The shock result sent Town crashing to the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier table on what Scott admits was a torrid evening for everyone connected with the club.
But he believes that difficult experience put his side on "the right track" as Town went on to finish the season strongly before ultimately falling short of a play-off spot.
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And, as they prepare to return to Essex once again this evening, Scott believes his table-topping Mariners have "come a long" way since that humbling.
He said: "It wasn't nice for us last time, but it's something that you have to go through in your footballing career to set you on the right track.
"We obviously had a torrid time but that's history – we've moved on from that, both in terms of our football and as a group.
"Do you sit and sulk about it or do you try and put it right so that it doesn't happen again?
"That's what we did and we'd certainly like to think that we're in a much different place now.
"Going to a place like Braintree is never going to be a walk in the park because of the way they play, the conditions that you're playing in and your surroundings.
"But these are the matches that can shape your season.
"We've now got a mentality in the squad that means our players go to places like Braintree, looks at the pitch and the surroundings and says 'this doesn't bother us.
"It's the same size pitch, it's 11 players against us and we'll do what we need to do to win this game'."
Scott appreciates that the surface will be far from ideal after the Iron were forced to postpone their clash with Southport at the weekend because of a waterlogged pitch.
But he insisted that the Town squad are prepared for whatever is thrown at them.
He said: "Whatever conditions we are faced with, we're going to go out and work our socks off to earn the result.
"The surface won't affect our approach really.
"If you listen to some people we don't play attractive football anyway!
"But in all seriousness, I think what we have got in our armoury is the ability to play two different ways.
"We can roll our sleeves up and work hard but we can also get it down and play neat football.
"We know it's not going to be Wembley in terms of the playing surface but that doesn't faze us.
"We've got the sort of mentality in the squad which means that we're prepared for anything.
"We've got the sort of players where they just dig in and get on with it."
On the problems Braintree will pose his side, Scott added: "They're a little bit up and down this season.
"They've had some good results – they've been to Luton and got a result there so it's going to be tough.
"They came up last year and did well but this year has been a bit more of a struggle for them.
"They've lost some of their most influential players but on their day, they're more than capable of getting the results.
"It's going to be an 'up-and-at-them' game and we'll have to be prepared for that if we're going to get a result."