Grimsby Town need to rediscover home form, says Derek Niven
MIDFIELDER Derek Niven is desperate to avoid an unwanted treble when Grimsby Town face Macclesfield on Saturday.
The Mariners have lost their last two matches at Blundell Park – to Dartford in the Blue Square Bet Premier, and Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup.
And with The Silkmen visiting Cleethorpes this weekend, Town's players are keen to avoid a hat-trick of home defeats.
The Mariners are yet to lose on their travels this campaign and Niven wants them to become equally difficult to beat in their own backyard.
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"We need to make it much harder to come to Blundell Park, no question," he told the Telegraph.
"If you want to have a good season, and have any chance of promotion, you've got to win your home games and pick up the extra points on the road.
"We've done well away from home but obviously we want to bring that form back to Blundell Park.
"We must put Saturday's disappointment behind us and get the right result against Macclesfield because that's two home defeats in a row and we don't want to make it a third.
"The next home game is vital for us now – we have to bounce back with three points."
Niven netted Town's first goal in the 4-2 cup exit to the Harriers – a match which saw the hosts three-down within the first 18 minutes.
That strike added to the former Chesterfield man's effort against Gateshead last month, but was of little consolation to the Scot as his side crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle.
"It was a great opportunity for us to get into the First Round of the FA Cup, a competition every team and every player wants to do well in.
"But the start on Saturday – the first 20 minutes – was just not good enough.
"We started slowly and started poorly, we didn't make the right decisions and it's cost us. You can't give any team a three-goal headstart like that.
"We shouldn't have let that happen and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again."
While team-mates like Scott Neilson and Craig Disley have experienced the magic of the cup with other clubs, Niven is beginning to wonder if the famous, old competition has something against him.
He explained: "To be honest, I've never really had a good FA Cup run, so my 'good' work continues in that competition!
"We had a good run in the League Cup one year at Chesterfield but the FA Cup has never been the best of tournaments for me personally.
"It's so disappointing because obviously you want to get a big club in the next round, but it's not to be this year and we've got to move on quickly.
"We could have been going into the game against Macclesfield full of confidence after playing well and progressing in the FA Cup.
"The only good thing we can take away from it is that it's not in the league and hasn't damaged our league hopes.
"We can concentrate on the league now but that shouldn't be the case and we should have done much better in the cup.
"I'm sure we'll be back on our game on Saturday – the boys won't want a repeat of the performance we put in for the first 20 minutes against Kidderminster.
"It will be another tough game but if we start in the right manner, get on the front foot and take it to them, I'm sure we'll get the right result."