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Lawrence: No End Product

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 11/02/2001

Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence pointed to a lack of fire power for Saturday's defeat against Gillingham. The Mariners fielded a makeshift strike force of Michael Jeffrey and Jonathan Rowan in the 1-0 defeat at Priestfield Stadium.

Grimsby Town were without Steve Livingstone (suspended) and Bradley Allen (not yet fully fit), as well as former on-loan Danish striker David Nielsen, who has left the club.

"There was no end product for us." said Lawrence. "The ball just kept coming back. I need Livingstone back as well as Allen, who has been out for three months with an achilles problem but he should be back, at least on the bench, next week."

Lawrence felt the team had defended adequately, but believed that Mariners problems lay in the other half of the pitch. "I thought we defended well, particularly in the second half but that's not our problem and it's hard when you know that one mistake, one goal and one bit of misfortune is probably going to do us.

"We just don't look likely enough to score and Gillingham are masters at keeping a one-goal lead. Once they scored I feared the worst. We tried different things and huffed and puffed but I need players back and at least one more striker in the building." said Lawrence, who in desperation even brought on centre back Paul Raven in a striking role for the final 7 minutes of the game.

Jonathan Rowan Despite the lack of fire power, the Grimsby manager singled out 19 year old Jonathan Rowan (left) for praise. Lawrence thought the local youngster, who made his league debut in the game had had a respectable first outing. "I thought Jonathan Rowan did well. It's a hard place to make your debut and it's difficult to imagine more difficult circumstances than that, but that's life." said Lawrence.

The ex-Charlton, Middlesbrough and Luton boss, a veteran of many relegation battles in over 20 years as a football manager now believed Gillingham had pulled clear of the relegation zone.

"I would have taken a point from here before the game, especially with the side we had. " said Lawrence. "It's a blip but in my opinion it does mean that any lingering possibility Gillingham had of being relegated has now gone.

"It's one less in the pack fighting against relegation and I feel that's the significance, rather than the result." concluded the Grimsby manager.

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