‘Meeting the opposition’ – Grimsby Town F.C

‘Meeting the opposition’ – Grimsby Town F.C

This Saturday sees Keith Hill’s Tranmere travel to Cleethorpes in the aim of getting the same result as the last time the two clubs met. That scoreline was 5-0, which seems unlikely to happen again but after Tuesday night they will certainly settle for a 1-0. With the upcoming game in mind, I placed questions towards Mariners supporter Aaron Rattray to find out about Grimsby’s on and off pitch positions going into the game whilst getting his pre-match predictions. 

How long have you been a Mariners fan? How did you first come across the club?

I’ve been a Grimsby supporter since I was two or three years old, my parents are lifelong fans so you could say it runs in the family!

What is your proudest moment as a Grimsby Town supporter?

In my lifetime we have not had much success! However, winning the 2016 National League play off final at Wembley against Forest Green Rovers is the highlight so far.

Random fact about Grimsby?

Our stadium, Blundell Park, is the lowest ground above sea level at just 2 metres.

What are your thoughts on the campaign so far? What were your expectations going into the season and what are they now in the final stages?

This season has been a disaster, the board and Ian Holloway planned terribly for the season and assembled a cheap below par squad as the board held the opinion that the season would be null and void so my expectations is just to finish 22nd and stay up, however I do feel we will get relegated.

This season Grimsby have parted ways with former Premier League boss Ian Holloway and replaced him with someone who has experience at Blundell Park, Paul Hurst. What are your thoughts on this departure and what are your thoughts on the new manager, is he capable of securing a bright future for the Mariners?

Ian Holloway has assembled the worst squad seen in decades, having signed players he did not even know existed until they were recommended to him and he signed them solely on the word of a mate and never bothered to watch videos of them or see them play (Holloway said this himself) it quickly come obvious that he had very little knowledge of this level, he has left Paul Hurst a mountain to climb, Paul Hurst himself hinting on several occasions that this is the worst squad he has ever seen, hopefully Hurst can perform some magic and keep us up.

What are your thoughts on the owners of the club?

John Fenty is our majority shareholder and you will honestly struggle to find a fan who likes him after 18 years of mismanagement and doing absolutely everything on the cheap, (there are hundreds of examples I could give)- thankfully a takeover is in process, a consortium of Tom Shutes, Andrew Pettit and Jason Stockwood has agreed to buy the club and are just awaiting EFL approval so watch this space!

What players will pose the greatest threats to Tranmere this weekend?

Jay Matete, who is a young central midfielder from Fleetwood, looks a talented player. He has shown he is not afraid to carry the ball forward through the middle with his driving runs from midfield.

Your score prediction for Saturday?

Unfortunately, I see a Tranmere victory 2-0.

What is your opinion on Tranmere?

They’re clearly an established club who are probably playing at a lower level than they should be.

What were your thoughts following the last meeting between the two clubs? Tranmere won 5-0 and soon after appointed Keith Hill.

It was an absolutely disgraceful performance on the pitch, topped off with a similar disgraceful post-match interview with Ian Holloway who aggressively blamed the defeat on the journalist who was interviewing him! How a journalist can be blamed for a defeat I have no idea!

What are your thoughts on Hurst’s first January transfer window back at Cleethorpes? Former Tranmere bags man Stefan Payne signed a deal until the end of the season, what are your thoughts on him?

Well Paul Hurst made it clear when he got the job that he would have to sign a load of players, he has signed 11 players so far with one free agent still to come by all accounts. On paper the squad is certainly better than it was when Hurst took over but they now have the task of gelling and knitting together in double quick time, without a break. Stefan came off the bench and scored on his debut, so hopefully more goals to come!

  • Stefan Payne departed Tranmere for Grimsby in January 2021, where he met up with a manager that had coached him before. Payne scored on his debut after coming on as a substitute and will pose questions of his former club’s defence if he is to feature on Saturday. 

I would like to thank Aaron for his time answering the questions that I placed towards him. This league encounter should be interesting as Tranmere play with the aim of turning wrongs to rights following their midweek performance against a Paul Hurst side who will be difficult to break down. I hope that readers enjoyed this Q+A.

Thank you very much for reading,

Stay safe,

Ethan Hoijord 

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