Grimsby Town hoping Marcus Marshall and Nathan Pond will extend stay
THE quest to keep loan stars including Marcus Marshall and Nathan Pond at Grimsby Town continues.
As with Aldershot striker Michael Rankine, the pair’s current loan deals end in the New Year.
Centre-half Pond is set to return to parent club Fleetwood Town next week, while Bury winger Marshall’s deal runs until January 5.
However, the Mariners’ managers are hopeful of keeping their squad intact beyond tomorrow’s clash at Mansfield Town and the New Year’s Day derby against Lincoln City.
The joint bosses have also not given up hope of another of their loan rangers, Ross Hannah, returning on a permanent deal following the end of his three-month deal.
As expected, the fifth of Town’s loan signings this campaign, Scott Neilson, has agreed to join title rivals Luton Town after his final appearance for the Mariners last Friday.
“If you bring someone into the football club and they do well then people want them to stay – of course they do,” joint boss Rob Scott told the Telegraph.
“We wanted Scott Neilson to stay, but it was totally to do with a geographical issue.
“And we’d like Ross Hannah to stay. If that works out, it’s fantastic. If it doesn’t we know we’ve got Greg Pearson in the building who played well at Lincoln.
“We’d be happy to keep Marcus. He’s expressed a desire to stay with us but Bury have got a problem with their transfer embargo, so we’ll have to see how that stands.
“The noises we are getting are that they would be happy for him to stay, so we’re working on that and will hopefully conclude something in the next week or so.
“Fleetwood will probably want to have a look at Pondy, which is understandable with a new manager going in there, but again we’re working on that situation.
“Ranks came on again at Lincoln and we’ve seen what he is all about. He’s big, strong and physical and almost scored.
“We continue working on all fronts to keep the squad as it is or bolster it if we can.”
Town head to Mansfield tomorrow knowing that victory will ensure they begin 2013 as the top side in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
“As it stands, we’re in a nice position and we will continue to work hard to stay there,” added Scott.
“We’re still trying to work on things – we’re looking at other players and at bolstering the squad because it’s a hard run-in.
“Come January we want to be able to push on again and hopefully we’ll be able to do that.
“If a player leaves we’ll endeavour to get a better player, or as-good a player, in because we’re sat where we are in the league and it’s an enticing opportunity to come and play for us.
“There’s obviously a stigma of playing in the Conference if you speak to league players, but what we have done here is re-ignite players’ careers.
“We’re working on a couple of things. If we can do it, that’s great but if we can’t then we’ve got a great squad anyway.”