Andy Cook has big part to play for Grimsby Town this season, says Paul Hurst
ANDY Cook still has a big part to play for Grimsby Town this season – and can draw inspiration from team-mate Shaun Pearson.
The striker, who turns 22 next week, dropped down to the bench for Tuesday evening's clash at Alfreton Town, appearing as a late substitute in the 2-0 victory.
But joint boss Paul Hurst insists the summer signing from Barrow remains a key figure for the Mariners and will benefit from the rest.
"We feel that Andy's had a run in the team and it hasn't quite worked for him as much as what he would have liked, certainly in terms of his goals tally," explained Hurst.
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"He just looked a little short of confidence, so we decided to take him out of the firing line.
"Elds (Anthony Elding) has been doing well in training where he has looked really sharp, and he came in and did a job on Tuesday. But when Andy went on he looked a different player.
"I know he doesn't want to be just coming on as a sub. But we've got a good squad and we have players who didn't even get stripped off to play at Alfreton who would get in most – if not all – teams in this league."
Cook netted 17 times for the Bluebirds last season, but has just a solitary Town goal to his name so far this campaign – notched in the win over Luton Town last month.
Hurst continued: "I think he needed a breather. I'm not going to say he's been brilliant and we took him out because he was feeling a bit tired or anything.
"But sometimes you just need to be pulled out of the firing line. It's easy to forget what a young lad he is because of the size of him.
"And he scored goals last year for a team – without being disrespectful – that's not as good as we've got this year.
"He's more than capable and it's for us to try to work him through that in training.
"He's working hard off the pitch as well, not just in the training sessions that we're putting on but in terms of the extra work he's had to adapt to, because he's not been used to that from being part-time.
"All that can have an effect. We had a similar situation with Shaun Pearson last year and look how well he's doing now.
"We're certainly not washing our hands of Andy, that's for sure.
"He's a big part of what we're trying to achieve and he'll keep contributing, whether that's from the bench or the starting line-up."