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Priority for transfer window?

Reduce squad size
Strengthen defence
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No change needed


Reading Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 24/04/2003

WITH Town relegated on Monday, only pride is at stake when they make their first ever visit to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday, against a Reading side who look certain to make the play-offs.

Home > 2002-2003 Season > Previews > Reading (a)

The Mariners

After relegation on Monday, manager Paul Groves vowed to see the last two games out with as much commitment and passion as all the other games this season. However, he will be forced to make at least one change, with striker Michael Boulding being rested for the final games so he can try and regain full fitness for next season. This could see him hand a start to striker Darren Mansaram in a 4-4-2 formation. Groves may want to tinker with his squad and experiment with a few younger players, but we expect him to wait until the Brighton game on the final day of the season for him to do this. SIMON FORD is ruled out yet again with an achilles injury.

The Royals

Arguably the first division manager of the year is Alan Pardew who has been manager of the Royals since October 1999. After a couple of steady seasons under his leadership, he lead them to second place in division two last season and has become one of the hottest managerial prospects around. Now Reading could do the unthinkable and achieve a second successive promotion via the play offs and into the Premiership after their fantastic season back in division one. They need only a point to guarantee a play off place and Pardew has the luxury of an injury free squad to choose from. Only Josh Gamble, Sammy Igoe and Baz Savage will be unavailable due to their long term injury problems.

The Teams


Danny Coyne, John McDermott, Tony Gallimore, Steve Chettle, Georges Santos, Stuart Campbell, Paul Groves, Richard Hughes, Michael Keane, Darren Mansaram, Steve Livingstone


Chris Thompson, Terry Cooke, Iain Ward, Sean Allaway (GK), Jonathan Rowan


Marcus Hahnemann, Greame Murty, Adie Williams, Steve Brown, Nicholas Shorey, Luke Chadwick, Andy Hughes, James Harper, Ricky Newman, Glenn Little, Nicky Forster,


Jamie Cureton, John Mackie, John Salako, Darius Henderson, Jamie Ashdown

Last Meeting

This will be Town’s first ever visit to the Madejski Stadium having been in different divisions since their relegation in the 1996/97 season - and they won’t visit here again for at least another year after Saturday! The last time they came head to head was of course earlier in the season at Blundell Park in one of Town’s more forgettable home games this season. The Mariners lost 3-0 with Andrew Hughes and Nicky Forster scoring Reading’s goals. It will also be a game that Alan Pouton will want to forget for his fabulous 30 yard own goal!

Grimsby Team: Coyne, McDermott, Barnard, Raven, Ford, Cooke (Santos), Coldicott, Pouton, Campbell, Kabba, Mansaram (Robinson).

Subs Not Used: Allaway, Rowan, Ward


Prediction: 1-1 draw

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