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Lawrence: We Must Learn

By: Stephen Bateman
Date: 06/11/2000

Grimsby Town manager Lennie Lawrence believes that his players have no reason to feel humiliated after Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Watford. Lawrence feels that his charges must draw from the more positive aspects of the performance rather than dwelling upon the lop-sided scoreline.

"We have to learn some lessons from it, like our little moments when we lose concentration, such as the goal that went in in added time," said Lawrence after watching his side succumb to the unbeaten division leaders.

The Mariners boss appeared unconcerned about the fact that his side went down to their biggest league defeat of the season as he went on to suggest that this was one of Grimsby's more up-beat performances:

"It looks a humiliation, but it wasn't a 4-0 game. We had more chances today than in any other away game since I've been here. The scoreline looks as though they've hammered us, but we don't feel that they have."

Out Of Luck

Although some observers would undoubtedly argue that lethargic defending and profligate finishing on the Mariners part were reflected in the scoreline, the Grimsby boss prefers to believe that his side were deserted by luck, saying:

"We can't mope about it. We have had some luck lately but we had none here. Not one iota, in any shape or form. We thought we did very well in the first 15 minutes and not too bad for the first half-an-hour."

Lawrence then went on to describe Watford's opener as 'unfortunate' before admitting that "[After the first goal] we went dead and conceded a second goal and that five minutes was our worst spell of the game."

In spite of the result, David Nielsen was still singled out for praise as the manager said during a post-match press conference:

"That was his best away performance easily, and we lost 4-0. He did well and deserved a better fate."

Lawrence will no doubt be hoping for a change of fortune when the Mariners take on Birmingham at Blundell Park on Saturday.

Groves's Pain

Grimsby skipper Paul Groves preferred to focus on the fact that although Town were competitive in midfield, Watford were more proficient than the Mariners in the areas of the pitch that really matter:

"The difference over the 90 minutes was in the two boxes. I think for an away side against a top-of-the-league side, we have created a few chances, but if you don't finish those chances you're going to find yourself up against it."

"We knew it was never going to be easy but to lose 4-0 hurts - it hurts your professional pride and it hurts personally."

Groves, who was once again forced into the Grimsby back four after an injury to Paul Raven went on to acknowledge the performance of table-topping Watford, saying "We have to give them credit - they're a decent side".

The skipper then turned his attention to the Mariners home game against Birmingham on Saturday as he vowed that there would be no effort wasted in preparing for the match:

"We have got a big game at home coming up and we just have to work harder in training. We have to get things going again this week and focus ourselves on the Birmingham game."

Injuries Mount Up

Raven's injury has weakened Lawrence's already fragile squad even further. He now joins Danny Butterfield, Matthew Bloomer, Alan Pouton, Michael Jeffrey and Daryl Clare on the treatment table. Bradley Allen limped off against Watford with damaged ligaments but is expected to be available for Saturday's match, as is Stuart Campbell who missed today's training session due to illness.

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