Paul Merson: Grimsby Town need some luck to seal League return
PAUL Merson says Grimsby Town will need a large helping of luck if they are to be one of the two teams promoted from the Blue Square Bet Premier this season.
The former Arsenal and England star played at Blundell Park a decade ago as part of Portmouth's Division One title-winning side.
On that occasion, in August 2002, Pompey left with all three points following a 1-0 victory.
Ten years on, the 44-year-old was back in Grimsby last week for a charity fundraiser at the Seven Seas pub in Scartho.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
And the Sky Sports pundit admitted it was surprising to see how the Mariners have fallen since his last visit to the area.
He said: "It's been sad to see Grimsby Town's slide down to the Conference – what was it, 10 years ago, they were in the Championship?
"The Conference is a tough test for any team and, for me, it's the hardest league to get out of.
"I think there needs to be changes to how it works. They should release two teams out automatically and have one in the play-offs.
"The way it works now is not fair on the football fan or on any football team and it needs to be looked at seriously.
"Grimsby have got to be lucky to get out of it, same as any team in that league.
"It is a very hard league to be in, look at teams like Luton and also Wrexham who were top for most of last season but still missed out.
"You've got to be a decent side, but also lucky to make it back into the Football League."