Grimsby Town v Ebbsfleet United: Rivals out to knock us off top, says Rob Scott
"WE know what other managers and other teams will want to do – they'll want to knock Grimsby Town off the top."
That's the message from joint boss Rob Scott as the Mariners head into this afternoon's clash at Ebbsfleet United, top of the Blue Square Bet Premier pile.
It might be FA Cup Second Round weekend, but all of the four sides directly below Town in the table are out of the competition and in league action today.
So the pressure is on for the Mariners – especially with 19th-placed Fleet battling for their Conference lives and buoyed by the opportunity to upset the league leaders.
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Scott said: "I think a lot of sides will say 'Grimsby are here, let's put one over on them – I'll raise my levels to see if I am better than the player I'm up against, and if I could get to play for Grimsby at some point.'
"That will be their aim because we're a big club in this league, but I don't think our players are focused on that.
"You have to be professional. We know what other managers and other teams will want to do – they'll want to knock us off the top.
"We'd do the same if it was Forest Green, Wrexham or Luton. If they came to us and were top of the league we would want to knock them off there. So it's a big challenge for us and it will keep our lads on their toes.
"But we feel we're in a pretty good position. We're positive and the players that we've got are top of the league and buoyant."
After Wednesday's FA Trophy replay triumph at Buxton, Town are in Kent this weekend before heading up to the north east to face Gateshead on Tuesday evening.
And all that comes before a return to Blundell Park next Saturday to entertain Tamworth.
"It's a tough week or so for us but it's no different from any normal weeks in this league," continued Scott.
"If you look at the likes of Braintree and Luton who had their games postponed last Saturday, they'll now have to play Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday and then they've still got another league game to fit in.
"What we have done is get our fixture list up-to-date and we have got our noses in front.
"They've got a game in hand but there's a backlog of games building up and with the cold weather arriving that can only get worse over the next month or so.
"We're in a better position than last year regarding the league position, but also in terms of the fixtures as well – we're happy to have played the games and got the points on the board."
It may have taken Scott's side 87 minutes to break down Northern Premier League part-timers Buxton this week, but he and Paul Hurst remain happy with a win – however it comes.
"We have to realise that we can't play well every game," he added.
"There are a lot of teams that win championships or get promotion and they don't play every week, but grind out results. That's the sign of a good side.
"I'll be quite happy to go down to Ebbsfleet, put in a professional performance and win 1-0 – that'll do us.
"The added bonus is when we do play well. The fans obviously want to see exciting football and they've been given that recently at Blundell Park with a 5-1 win over Woking and 3-0 victory over Braintree.
"So we're getting the mixture of both, which is good from our point of view – it tells us that we can be disciplined but also have that little bit of flair in there."