Grimsby Town held their latest pre-match press conference today ahead of the EFL League Two clash against Notts County on Saturday.
With two games remaining this season, the Magpies remain in serious danger of relegation to the National League.
Currently two points behind third-bottom Macclesfield, the upcoming fixture with Town has already been labelled a ‘must win’ by Notts manager Neal Ardley, whose side are level on points with Yeovil at the foot of the table.
Kristian Dennis, who would have missed the game against his parent club, has picked up a hip injury for the Mariners.
Harry Cardwell (ankle) is also a doubt, while fellow striker Jordan Cook has been rated as 50-50. Swedish defender Ludvig Öhman and Sunderland loanee Elliott Embleton remain on the sidelines.
Catch up with our updates from Cheapside as both sides prepare for what could be a crucial weekend of action in League Two.
Plenty of talking points from today’s pre-match press conference at Cheapside.
- Jordan Cook has a 50-50 chance of returning this weekend
- Ohman/Embleton/Whitehouse/Cardwell remain injured
- Michael Jolley praises Academy for work with latest pro trio
As always, you can catch up with our injury and team news updates below…
A few more thoughts from Michael Jolley heading into the weekend.
We have had quite a lot of people unavailable for a while now. It’s obviously shaped some of the selections that we have made. If you take all of the experience out of the team at the same time, it can be challenging.
With so much riding on this one, the bookies are currently siding with the home side to get the victory they desperately need. Notts have been priced at 4/5 on, with Town seen as a 16/5 chance. You can get 5/2 on the draw with SkyBet.
It’s been a memorable week for Jock Curran, Rumarn Burrell and Brandon Buckley.
On those three earning pro deals, Michael Jolley said: “I think the Academy has done a good job with all three players. Congratulations to them and the Academy for earning those professional contracts. This is the way we want to try and go at this football club. We want to try and promote local, young players into the first-team squad.”
Speaking to James Findlater, the manager provided us with an update on Elliott Whitehouse.
It was nice to get involved in that session with Elliott and to see him with his boots on, playing with the ball and doing things that footballers do. He’s in a good position in terms of his recovery timeline and we are all really looking forward to seeing him report back for pre-season.
In other injury news, fellow striker Harry Cardwell (ankle) will miss the weekend trip to Meadow Lane. Jordan Cook is rated as 50-50.
Kristian Dennis, who would have missed this game anyway, has returned to Notts County after picking up a hip injury. It will cut short his season, and his loan spell with the Mariners.
He continued: “It was a good that we showed that professionalism to get a result. Ultimately, there is no way we should be going how many games without a win. It’s something that us as players have to look to rectify.”
He added: “As a group, our confidence was starting to suffer. You don’t have that decisiveness in your decision making. All of a sudden, little mistakes become big issues. It was nice to get the win, and they are going for the Play-Offs. We had to match that determination.”
Our man James Findlater has just spoken to the long-serving goalkeeper at Cheapside.
It was miles, miles overdue. We have had some bad performances in there, most of all on Good Friday at Colchester, but we have also had a few in the run where we have not been bad. We needed to win a game of football and it was becoming a real issue. We should never be going that many games without winning.
He added: “I can see how much it means to the fans. They are the real winners or losers after this. We come and go as players and we do our best, but they are here for the long haul. I feel for the fans and the club.”
Notts County striker Jon Stead is the player on media duty at Meadow Lane this afternoon.
I’m excited. I’m excited for two incredibly nervy and exciting games of football. The excitement of what could happen if we get these two wins is massive. It outweighs everything.
If I’m on the bench I may well give someone and nudge to find out the scores elsewhere, but if I’m on pitch then I won’t even think about it. I’m sure the crowd will let us know.
In terms of injuries for the home side, boss Neal Ardley has described his options as ‘limited’ ahead of the crunch clash. He is waiting on an update from striker Kane Hemmings. Will he recover in time to face Town this weekend?
He added: “I don’t feel the nerves so much. As a manager you rack you brains so much. I always feel the nerves on a Saturday at three because I can’t get out on the pitch myself.”
A few thoughts from Neal Ardley, speaking at his pre-match press conference.
I have tried to lighten the mood. I am trying to take this season down to the final day. We cannot look at ourselves and worry about what might happen. We will just try and win the game. We won’t be looking at other results.
Have you read?
While we are waiting, here are the latest top stories from Grimsby Town.
- Celebrating promotion from Division Four four decades on
- Why these Academy players were handed professional deals
- No place for James McKeown in PFA team of the season
We are expecting to speak with the manager at around 1pm.
On our way!
I’m just off to Cheapside now, where we’ll be getting all the latest news from Michael Jolley ahead of this weekend’s clash with Notts County. Stay tuned for all the latest!
Jock Curran, Brandon Buckley and Rumarn Burrell were all handed their first professional deals this week, having stood out for Town’s Youth team over the past couple of seasons.
We’ve taken a close look at the trio in recent weeks as they’ve featured for the reserves… Here’s a look at what we made of their performances >>>
“The most important match of the season”
There’s no playing down the importance of Saturday’s game for Notts County boss Neal Ardley.
Their survival hopes are very much in the balance as they head into their penultimate game of the season, and anything less than a win could sentence them to relegation…
The mood is one of frustration but we have to recover quickly. Saturday is the most important match of the season. It is a must-win game and it’s massive.
Read more from the Notts County boss ahead of the game here >>>
Have your say
It could be a crucial weekend in shaping this season’s relegation battle.
Michael Jolley will be hoping for better news on the injury front this weekend, having been without Ludvig Ohman and Jordan Cook for the last few games. Elliot Embleton is not expected to play again this season. That’s also the case for Elliott Whitehouse.
Good morning GTFC fans. It’s media day at Cheapside.
Our man James Findlater will be heading down there shortly.
Stay tuned for the latest injury and team news…