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The Post Match Reaction

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 04/01/2004

WE thought it was all over after the 8-1 thrashing at Hartlepools! But the Mariners made Wycombe look like contenders for the Champions League yesterday going down 4-1 to the bottom of the table club.

So what was it like for both the manager and, the fans who travelled to see the game? We look at the post-match reaction, which as you would expect after a resounding defeat, was bitter.

Manager Paul Groves told the Grimsby Telegraph; "It was unacceptable. We were outfought, outplayed, and we weren't in it. We gave ourselves a lifeline but then we found ourselves 2-1 down at half-time because we didn't match them.

"If you don't win your own individual battle against the person in front of you then you don't get the opportunity to play."

On Mariners Net he said; "First and foremost, we weren't up to the fight. I think you've got to look at that performance and say that it's not acceptable at all.

"The least you expect from one to eleven and the people that come on is that they give one-hundred-percent. They've got to be prepared to put their foot in, they've got to be prepared to win the challenges, they've got to be prepared to win the second balls, and they've got to be prepared to win their individual battles."

"It was 4-4-2 against 4-4-2 so it wasn't a system problem. They've out fought them, out scrapped them - hence the result."

Groves also said he feels sorry for Town's travelling fans.

"I would be as disgruntled as they are. They're the people that you feel sorry for, they are the ones that support you week in, week out, trying to get behind you - there's not a lot to get behind today. They are entitled to moan, that's not acceptable."

"We need to address it. If it means coming in every day then so be it. We need to make sure that we are up for the game and ready for the fight."

"We are now going to be looking for a reaction from the players. One to eleven, how can they say that they deserve to be in the team. On that performance you could change the whole lot but we don't have the resources to be able to do so."

On Radio Humberside one of the commentators said; "Town were almost kicked off the pitch in the first half and it seems now, in the second half, that they do not have the mental strength recover and do anything in this game"

The Supporters Reaction!

KLM must be the first with his comments about some of his fellow fans who travelled to the game and, in his opinion, should not have done so.

"What got to me big time and shook me to the core, and MissJones has already touched on this, was the disgusting abuse that some "fans"(and I use the term very loosely)got so much pleasure from hurling at certain players.

I will admit that, at times, I can curse with the best of them, but this was, even to me, a disgusting, prolonged and vicious verbal tirade of the worst kind of abuse imaginable! If these "fans" think that they are helping, then they are seriously misguided individuals that should be pitied!

At a time when the chips are so far down, should we not be getting behind our players and trying so hard to lift them, I know I do, to the best of my ability anyway!

I sat there, on my own, at the end of the game(the last one to leave the away end)in total disbelief! Disbelief of the performance, disbelief of the situation and utter disbelief at what I had experienced at the hands of people who have the audacity to call themselves Grimsby Town Supporters!"

Gollyontheright said;

"Groves has had too many chances now like at Hartlepools, Rushden and at home to Tranmere, Port Vale etc.

Something needs to be done quickly. Is it any wonder the Grimsby fans including myself get annoyed having travelled all that way and spent a hell of a lot of money on that rubbish of a so called team? Ok i will quite happily spend my money on Grimsby and will carry on to do so but when the team start to repay the loyal support of the away fans (and home to) then I think we have every right to tell the players and management and chairman what we think.

Also I am not a Iffy fan. But I think Iffy was by far our best player and I did sing his name and stand up and applaud him when he went off because he was the only player along with Jevvo, Campbell and Edwards, to an extent, that deserved to be clapped."

josnche was adamant:

"What a waste of a day. That was the worst performance from town I have seen in a very long time. We were absolutely shocking. Not one person looked up for that game at all. A few fans were shouting for Groves' resignation at the start but by the end most of the fans were joining in. He has to go, ASAP. He can't motivate the team at all, no one was interested and unless a miracle happens we are going to lose very heavily to Plymouth. When I got home I picked up the sports telegraph to find that they'd come to the conclusion Des Hamilton was the Man of the Match, where they'd got that from I don't know, he's absolutely abysmal.

Steve Cotterill all the way now lads, I can feel that Groves will be out of here by Saturday.

Up The Mariners!"

Humbo Mariner comments;

"After all these years of following Grimsby Town, my ebb is at it's lowest all because the team I support is failing miserably because of the managers' tactics and the teams lack of knowledge how to play together. This last 18 months has made Grimsby Town a laughing stock because they have gone down hill very quickly.

Its ok saying we've had no money but the rest of Division Two haven't either due to what we already know. I wonder if Mr Fenty and his directors would let a vastly inexperienced person run their companies like Paul Groves has done at Grimsby Town with nothing coming out of it in terms of productivity.

In fact if you read the report on the Fishy today, Groves and Furneaux are contradicting each other and they can't even agree on how many are in the first team squad and who's getting what wages and these two are meant to be running parts of the club between themselves.

After watching all the home games this season, it has been abysmal as teams have come to Blundell Park and shown us how to play football in our own back yard, I wonder, with most of the squad not living in the Grimsby area, if that does affect anything with team morale in mind.

Let face the facts. Unless we get rid of Groves we've got to face this for this season and I can see Division Three beckoning because of the poor performance of the team. If we drop another division a lot of the out of contract players will use this as an excuse to line their own pockets and forget they have put us there, it makes me wonder what the directors think of this. 18 months we've been through seeing our team under achieve.

As for a replacement for Groves if, or when, he's sacked or resigns, The list of all the managers out of work at this moment is long but and some of the names wouldn't come here. but I think people would be surprised who out of that list would, as when jobs come along they would apply for them and have said this in the media as well, knowing there's no money in football unless you manage in the Premiership. If we carry on in 2004 like we did in 2003 we will be supporting a very poor team into Division Three."

For F99Pontoon it was even worse!

"Car broke down at Huntingdon - Still we can still make it by Train.

Over £40 to get to Wycombe - Still we should get there.

Two trains and two tubes later arrive at Wycombe at 14.45 - Still a Taxi will get us there on time.

Overcharged by Taxi Drive - Still we're here in time.

Was it worth the time effort or money?

Answers on a post card to :- Mr P Groves, Blundell Park...etc"

But finally some calming words from sloughmarinerreturns

Where do we go from here??

"As much as I don't like saying this - I can't see how Groves can continue in charge, the pressure from poor results, performances, supporters etc has become too much.

The anti-Groves brigade have a good point in that our league position, style of football, are not what we expect and, as manager, Groves has to be the one to be made accountable. However, personally I'm disappointed in the name-calling etc - totally uncalled for. The man should be acknowledged and thanked for all the work he does, (or perhaps did), the attempt to stabilise and improve a club with no finance in place, lack of support etc is a daunting one, which is proving to be too tough a task.

IF he goes - then it would be nice to hear some appreciation for his efforts, rather than the slating that is starting to come his way.

Furthermore, back to the original question - where do we go? Who would we get? It's one thing sacking a manager - the hard part would be finding the right person to replace him. Yes, there would be people willing to come -but could they manage with the problems this club have? Personally, I'm struggling to think of anyone. Some suggestions already are comical, some short sighted - some possible.

However - I don't think a new manager can guarantee an improvement, if anything - an improvement will suggest the players attitude and commitment under Groves to be questioned not just Groves's management skills.

However, like I've stated - I can see that the time has come for change, but I do say that with a heavy heart - so please, give Groves the recognition his efforts deserve and stop the abuse. (And in the small chance that he's still in charge next week- support - don't abuse.

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