Grimsby Town vs Southend United...
Blues face another huge six-pointer in their battle at the foot of the League Two table as Mark Molesley’s Southend side take on Grimsby Town tomorrow afternoon at Blundell Park.
The Mariners sit directly above Blues in the relegation zone which makes this weekend’s clash and the three points on offer to both sides that little bit more important.
Just a month ago Southend battled to a 3-1 win against Grimsby in the reverse fixture and they’ll be hoping to pick up another vital victory again this weekend in Lincolnshire.
Southend travel to Grimsby in high spirits after grinding out a hard-fought 1-0 win against Barrow last weekend, despite having 10 men for most of the second-half.
The win atoned for Blues’ prior outing, a 2-0 defeat against Leyton Orient, and maintained their recent upturn in fortunes with Molesley’s side picking up four wins and a draw from their last six.
Grimsby have had a difficult run of things of late with the Mariners currently without a win in their last five matches. Their last outing saw them lose 3-0 to Port Vale.
Last League Meeting
Tuesday 15th December 2020
Southend United 3-1 Grimsby Town
K Taylor 1’, Clifford 57’, Halford 75'; Jackson Jr 45’, Waterfall sent off 90’
One month to the day since these two sides last met as Southend secured a 3-1 win against the Mariners in front of 2,000 Blues fans at Roots Hall.
Kyle Taylor scored after 24 seconds to give Southend the perfect start before Ira Jackson Jnr equalised on the stroke of half-time.
Goals from Tom Clifford and new-signing Greg Halford put daylight between the sides with the visitors ending the evening with 10 men after Luke Waterfall saw red.
From The Boss
“Our main focus, when we go to bed every night and every morning we get up, is how can we improve what we’re working with at the moment.
“If one or two were to present themselves that we felt would further enhance the group we’d certainly look at that, but until that happens it’s just fully focussed on preparing for Grimsby.
“With so many games coming up not everyone is going to be able to play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. It’s important we keep that momentum going.
“We’re well aware of what the games mean and how important they are. What we’ve got to do is keep focussing on ourselves, our process and what will give us the best chance to get that win.
“We all want to win, but we’ve got to know how we’re going to do that and really focus on that.
“That’s what the boys have done. They’ve always kept their focus.
“Win or lose, we still approach things, analyse things and look to improve regardless of the result. I really feel if we stick to our processes that gives us the best chance to win the game.
"You cast your mind back it wasn't too long ago [we last played them]. With a new manager it makes it tricky to guess what they're going to be like. He will have his own ideas and will want to implement some sort of change.
"We've got to be right on our toes and be ready for anything they throw at us. We might have to be quite adaptive on the day depending on how they go about things."
Blues Team News
On-loan Bournemouth man Kyle Taylor is back in training after recovering from COVID-19 with Mark Molesley saying he will be monitoring the midfielder closely ahead of Saturday.
Tom Clifford has also returned to training having been missing since Christmas with an ankle problem, while Michael Klass too returned to the squad after a period out.
Saturday has come too soon for Brandon Goodship and Terrell Egbri, although Reeco Hackett-Fairchild is expected to feature after suffering a tight hamstring late on against Barrow.
Greg Halford though will be absent from the trip to Blundell Park as he serves his one-game suspension after his red card against Barrow last weekend.
Teenage defender Mattie Pollock has been a towering presence at the back for the Mariners this season and is certainly going to be a big threat from set-pieces tomorrow afternoon.
With four goals, Pollock is Grimsby’s leading goal scorer and he’s shown himself to have a striker-like instinct when the ball falls to him in the box with some superb poachers finishes.
The son of former Man City midfielder Jamie Pollock has scored against Carlisle and Morecambe, and also grabbed the winner in Grimsby’s last victory against neighbours Scunthorpe.
Ben Toner will be officiating this weekend’s clash at Blundell Park, being assisted by Paul Evans and Billy Smallwood, while Wayne Grunnill stands in as the fourth official.
The Lancashire ref has taken charge of 17 games so far this season, showing 52 yellow cards and two reds, with his last outing being Mansfield’s huge 4-0 win against Port Vale a fortnight ago.
Toner has taken charge of Blues once already this season – the Emirates FA Cup defeat to Boreham Wood – and it’ll be his first Grimsby game since August 2019 when the Mariners drew with Bradford.
With fans again unable to attend matches in person, Blues fans can watch tomorrow’s clash with Grimsby by picking up a Match Pass for iFollow Blues for £10.
Overseas supporters can pick up a pass for just £7 with the pass allowing you to catch the game on your laptop, computer, tablet or mobile device.
For more information on how you can get your Match Pass for iFollow Blues and ensure you miss none of the action at Blundell Park, click here.
Please note, due to current BBC guidelines relating to travel to and from a Tier 4 area, the BBC Essex commentary team will not be able to provide match commentary for the game. Instead, you will have a choice of listening to ambient stadium noise or you can switch to Grimsby’s commentary via the settings cog.