Grimsby Town at Forest Green: 'Mariners have improved since victory over Rovers'
Grimsby Town joint boss Paul Hurst gives his thoughts ahead of tonight's clash at Forest Green Rovers:
On Forest Green...
" Forest Green haven't won in three, I think. They're still very much in the play-off hunt though, and will see it as a big game. If they can take three points, they can tag onto ourselves and the other teams up there. From our point of view, if we can get a win it makes it even more difficult for Forest Green. It against one of the teams that are right up there and they'll create problems with the way they play. I watched them on Saturday at Cambridge. They passed the ball well and there will certainly be times when they'll have the possession and it's about how patient we can remain. Then we can press to try to force that mistake when we're set as a team. We can play to our strengths and try to cause them some problems. A win would certainly give us a nice cushion from them, not that we're looking at fifth place but that's where we currently find ourselves. So it would be a big win for us, there's no getting away from that. It's an important game and a long way away for a midweek game, so we'll be spending a lot of time on a coach yet again which we're getting used to now!"
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" I think we're a better side than we were then. With Forest Green, I'm not so sure. I know they've got a few injuries at the moment in midfield and some suspensions, so I wouldn't like to second-guess what the team will be. It was a good game that day. We nicked it on a set-play – we said at the time that something like that might be what it took to win. I'd be surprised if either team win comfortably tonight, so it's about taking your chances when they come along and being ruthless. It's a good test as all these next three games are in particular, but even when we're through them it doesn't mean the ones coming up afterwards are going to be easy. But they are teams that are right up there in terms of challenging for promotion."
On Friday's postponement...
" We've heard comments about us potentially getting fined but I think they're more from fans of other teams. We set off at 1pm to get to Macclesfield and the idea was to go for a pre-match meal first. We set off in plenty of time and it's just one of those things. You can't legislate for it, but it was frustrating. I've been caught in traffic before but never for that length of time. Sometimes other events happen and you can't plan for them. In the end I think it was only right that the game was called off. The disappointment for us was that we couldn't arrange it for the Saturday, which seemed like a little bit of madness. There was talk about the officials – I'm pretty certain officials could have been sorted out if needed."
" It means we have to fit another game when we haven't got the dates available to us that would make it a more level playing field. Some of the teams up there have been fortunate enough to get more games played and haven't had the Trophy as we have done. We've got a run of games now where the players are going to have to step up to the mark to earn points because we're playing against some good teams that have got their own promotion ambitions."
On Liam Hearn's comeback...
" Liam trained for the first time yesterday, in terms of all of the session, and it looks as though he has come through that okay. Liam, pictured, came in and had a great season and was looking forward to starting this one well, but the injury occurred and it has been a long and frustrating road for him. He's not quite at the end of it in terms of where he'll want to be – he wants to be back in the team and scoring goals for us. There is a little bit of work for him to do yet, but he'll be pleased he's come through that session. We've no target game for him, we'll just see how he goes and there's still no pressure on him to get back. We've got a number of strikers who give us good options, so it will be case of trying to ease him in still. There will come a point where if he's feeling good and getting through everything, we might have to push him a bit – that depends how he is mentally as well."