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James McKeown2,070
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Pouton Targets First Team

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 23/07/2000

Pouton Targets First Team

News From 1st June 2000

Alan Pouton Grimsby Town midfielder Alan Pouton has set himself the target of becoming a first team regular next season.

The Newcastle-born player signed for the Mariners from York last September but, after an impressive loan spell, faded from the first team picture until the last two months of the season. Pouton was eventually signed for £150,000 and finished the season making over twenty starts during the campaign.

Believed to be tipped by Town manager Alan Buckley as a long term midfield successor to Paul Groves, Pouton is determined to force the manager's hand during the pre-season build up.

"It's been a hard first season. The lads have made me feel welcome and in the last couple months I've finally found my own feet and enjoyed the games I've played.I think from now on I can go from strength to strength"

Pouton's excellent form towards the end of the season saw him pick up a string of man of the match awards as well as score his first goal for the club. The goal came memorably in the 1-1 draw with Man City and put an end to the club record run of 628 minutes without a goal.

Pouton admits that he found it hard initially to make the jump from Bootham Crescent to Blundell Park.

"When I first came here I was looking to secure a first team place but, when I was on loan, I was able to express myself a bit more and I wasn't feeling any pressure. Then when that finished I'd been a sub for a few games and that sometimes benefits players when they come on, they're fresher and sometimes when I started I did struggle
"It was a big jump coming up from the third division to the first.
"When I first came here,Stacy and Groves were the regular midfielders and I knew it was down to me to replace one of them.

His all-action style has seen him at his best in the heart of the midfield action,but spent some time on the flanks filling in during times of need. But he produces his best form when the tempo and the stakes are high,and says there is no other way for him to play than at full pelt.

"If you give 110 per cent for the club in every game,then that gives the manager a problem for the weekend
"Through injuries I got my chance again towards the end of the season and hopefully I've taken it.
"Now I have to build on that for the beginning of August"


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