Grimsby Town: Mariners are well equipped for any test, says Paul Hurst
THE 4-3-3 formation is becoming the system of choice for teams in the Blue Square Bet Premier – and Paul Hurst insists Grimsby Town are well prepared to play against it.
In Saturday's Blundell Park clash, against Forest Green Rovers, Town dealt well with the threat of playing against a mobile front three with another compact trio behind them.
Joint-boss Hurst believes the Mariners' pre-season games against the likes of Doncaster Rovers and Hull City equipped them well for the challenges the formation can bring this season.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: "A lot of teams seem to be going 4-3-3 – it appears to be the favoured formation at the moment.
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"Teams who set up like that will have more of the ball if they're good sides.
"But as a team, I think we've adapted to that very well – the friendly matches against Doncaster and Hull have certainly helped with that."
He added: "The team has definitely adapted to it, but I also think the fans are starting to understand and appreciate what we're trying to do a little bit better.
"You still hear people say 'press it, press it' and we want to do that, but sometimes you have to take a breather.
"We certainly aren't instructing them to sit back – we go into every game set up the right way and looking to win."
After just one defeat in their first eight games of the season, the Mariners now sit just three points outside the Conference play-off places.
And Hurst is delighted to see his side clicking into gear after a scratchy start.
"It's very early in the season, no matter what has happened up to now," he said.
"There's a hell of a long way to go and we won't get carried away by it, but the recent results will give the players confidence and show that we are a good team.
"Our recent away record has been excellent.
"If we can keep that up and get our wins at home like we did against Forest Green, then it doesn't take a genius to see that we'll do ok.
"But we've got to be up for each and every game in this league from the off.
"When we start well, it's going to take a good team to beat us this season."