Grimsby Town's frontline is strong enough to cope, says injured Liam Hearn
LIAM Hearn is adamant Grimsby Town have enough of a goal-scoring threat to cope with his injury absence.
Last season's top scorer is on the long road to recovery after rupturing his Achilles tendon at the start of the season.
With the 27-year-old expected to be sidelined until March, he has been forced to cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines.
But he has seen more than enough to convince him that the Mariners have enough firepower to cope with his absence – and show him that he will have a fight on his hands to regain his place in the side once he is back to full fitness.
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Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: "It's always good to see my fellow strikers doing well – they've scored a few so I'm just hoping I get back in time to catch them up!
"I'm quite competitive like that but as long as they're firing and the team is doing well, that's the main thing.
"The spirits are high between the strikers, even with those who aren't playing at the minute, and that's good to see because that's not been the case with some other strikers in the past.
"The players that the gaffers have brought in the striking department have been really good, they've been firing and I think that's one of the main keys to how well we've been doing."
Hearn says that he has been impressed with the club's current top scorer Ross Hannah – who has bagged eight during his loan spell from Bradford.
He has also thrown his support behind young frontman Andy Cook.
While the 22-year-old may only have three goals to his name so far this season, Hearn believes that stat does not tell the full story, saying that Cook means more to the Mariners than just goals alone.
He said: "Ross has hit the ground running with the club – he's a good honest lad and he works really hard.
"Off the pitch, we both get on really well, he's a good lad and as long as he keeps firing, I think we've got a great chance this season.
"Cooky is a really good player – I noticed him in pre-season and told the gaffers that I couldn't wait to play alongside him. Given the chance, I think I'd really enjoy playing up top with him – he seems like the kind of guy that I need to play with.
"He takes a lot of hassle off his strike partners, his hold up play is good, he can see a through-ball, he's great in the air – the lad has got everything.
"Andy might not have scored as many as he would have liked to yet but that's because he's been contributed more in other ways.
"What people that might not see is the donkey work that he does for others – with his hold-up play and winning his headers, he's created a lot of goals for other people – he's doing a great job for the team and I'm sure, come the end of the season, he will have chipped in with his fair share of goals to help us.
He added: "Then there's Greg Pearson who has been unfortunate with his injuries, but he's a great player as well as Dayle Southwell.
"So when I do come back, there's going to be plenty of competition."
He added: "I'd just like to be back playing.
"When I come back, I know it's not a given that I'm going to start and I know I need to work hard."