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GRIMSBY TOWN EXCLUSIVE!



Grimsby Town have today appointed Rowan Alexander as their new manager. A short statement on their website confirmed the appointment of Rowan Alexander, hero of Gretna's short lived success in Scotland when they rose through the leagues all the way to the SPL, Gretna made the shocking decision to sack Alexander back in 2007 despite him driving the club up the leagues and even got to the Scottish Cup final, where they lost on penalties to Hearts.

We caught up with Rowan yesterday to speak of his appointment.


"I am very proud to be here. Grimsby have been unfortunate in recent years and I think that with a bit of work, we can be successful, I have been out of the game for a few years now and I saw this as the ideal opportunity to return" Alexander said.


We also asked Rowan about his vision for the club and where he expects the club to be in the coming years. "I am very ambitious but right now, the club needs stabalisation, it has been in a steady decline and hopefully I can steady the ship and bring the club to a new level. At Gretna, we achieved back to back promotions for several years but this is a whole different ball game. We had lots of money to spend back then but now, I have a very limited budget, this is a big challenge but if I can get the fans behind me, we will be successful."


Finally, we asked Rowan whether he would be bringing in any ex-Gretna players or using his Scottish resources.
"At Gretna, I had Davie Irons as my assistant, as far as I know he's back playing in the junior leagues but if I can find a way to get him in, I will do it but it would be asking a lot from the board to sacrifice possible compensation for him. A few of my ex Gretna colleagues are still without a club so I may be looking at bringing in a few faces for trial but I will also be looking at other players."

"I have lots of contacts in Scotland and I know Danny Lennon at St Mirren very well. I'll be on the phone to some of these guys as soon as possible and hopefully I can pick up a loan player from somewhere.


 
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"Here we go again" muttered Rowan with a smile on his face as he approached the training ground for his first meeting with the players. The first thing he done was to reassure the players that they were all wanted at the club for the time being and all are on a clean slate but step out of line and ruthless Rowan will fling them out of the door.

Rowan held training for the first time to see what the players had to offer, the squad looked quiet and disjointed, it was like an army training camp apart. He had to stop the training mid-session and tell them that they will win nothing unless they pull together and become a team. Shocked by the depressing attitude from the players, Rowan called another team meeting. He demanded answers. Who was the troublemaker? An awkward silence followed until captain Lee Peacock whispered "Hudson". The players muttered in agreement. Hudson wasn't even there yet until he stumbled through the doors seconds later.


"Hudson, is it?" asked Rowan Alexander. "Who wants to know?" was the cheeky reply from Mark Hudson. "Me, turn around and don't let the door hit your **** on the way out". Ruthless Rowan took one for the team and released him on a free transfer.




Every single squad member looked at one another and smiled, they were desperate to see the back of him and the new manager was now their new hero.

"Right lads, now he's gone I want to see a better attitude towards the game, you'll all feel much better if you start enjoying yourselves more. I want us to play football in the correct manner and I want to watch each and every one of your careers flourish and watch Grimsby Town grow."

"You'll also be meeting some new guys tomorrow. Brian Irvine is our new assistant manager. He is a very good guy and a great football man. He has 9 caps for Scotland and will give you guys crucial advice as you advance in your careers. I have also brought in Davie Irons as a coach, he was my assistant at Gretna and he will also do a fine job here."
 
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Transfers

In


Tom Brighton - Free
Nick Hegarty - St Mirren (Free)
Jamie 'Jinky' McCluskey - St Mirren (6 month loan)
Terry Dixon - Free
Will Keane - Manchester United (Full season loan)
Ravel Morrison - Manchester United (6 month loan)
Oliver Norwood - Manchester United (6 month loan)
Joe Dudgeon - Manchester United (6 month loan)

Out

Nick Colgan - Free
Mark Hudson - Free
 
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"The season starts now, lads", Rowan said confidently. The players had shown a big improvement since he came in but he did not admit that. "You guys have the ability to win every game in this league and now you have to go out and show that to the faithful fans who have stuck by you over the years. It's Southport at home, they are not the strongest team but we have to respect them. We will attack from the off and I need you to spray the ball about the pitch as much as possible. No long balls as they will deal with them all day. I've watched them a few times as I will do with all of our opponents, Steve Daly is someone we will have to watch, he's a striker with a good eye for goal. Ashley Winn and Matty McGinn are also worth looking out for. There is not a single player in that team better that any of you in my eyes. Now go out there and prove it. It's a tough task but an achievable one."

Rowan's commitment was there to be seen. He was taking this job very seriously and he was doing his homework on the match, surely a recipe for success? After all they were only playing Southport...

Grimsby 2-1 Southport

(Lee Peacock pen, Tom Brighton)

"Good performance, lads, most important thing is that we got off to a winning start. This is great but we have to take more of our chances. The worrying thing is that we made some fundamental errors during the match, we often struggled with simple defending and didn't take as many goalscoring chances as I'd have liked. These things don't change overnight and therefore I am going to look for some new coaches, both attack minded and defence minded, if we can get this done, you will improve but I repeat, the important thing is that we have won the match and that is what we asked of you. Well done and the fans will be going home happy.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here: YouTube - Grimsby 2 - 1 Southport - Match Highlights
 
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Best of luck. Looking great so far.

I'll never understand why Gretna sacked Rowan. He did absolute wonders for them.
 
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"Back to basics this week, guys, as I said last week, we need to cut out the silly errors in defence and be more clinical up front. It's another home match although this one will be trickier, Bath City. I want to see us control the match again but this time more effectively, don't dwell on the ball and give it away. Take an controlled touch and then pass it on. Pass and move, pass and move, pass and move."

Grimsby 3-0 Bath



(Tom Brighton, Lee Peacock, Terry Dixon)


"Fantastic. Great improvement, you done exactly what we asked of you. No silly errors in defence, scoring more goals, you passed well. Happy days!"

Highlights:

YouTube - Grimsby 3 - 0 Bath - Match Highlights

Following results:

Gateshead 1-2 Grimsby



(Ravel Morrison, Will Keane)


Quotes from Rowan Alexander

"I'll be on the phone to Sir Alex in the next few weeks hoping to extend Ravel Morrison's loan deal. I'll also be asking if I can keep Olly Norwood, Joe Dudgeon & Will Keane for the time being."


Rushden & Diamonds 5-1 Grimsby



(Bore)

Quotes from Rowan Alexander

"What the **** was that? Rushden may well be at the top of the table but we are just as good. Some of you guys need to take a long hard look at yourselves and ask yourself: What the ****** **** happened there?, after that, I can't see much improvement, this is your opportunity to prove me wrong."

"Peter, that was an epic strike and I want to see more of that. To be brutally honest, I didn't think you had that in your locker, well done son. You were the best from a bad bunch."

YouTube - Rushden vs Grimsby - Bore Goal 76th minute

Grimsby 1-1 York



(Ravel Morrison)

Quotes from Rowan Alexander


"Very, very bad result, York is not a challenging match, they are fighting it out way down the bottom of the table. The only positives I can take from the game is that we scored a goal and we defended well against a team sitting in and hitting us on the counter attack. Those aside, we need to be more clinical."

Hayes and Yeading 2-2 Grimsby



(Will Keane x2)

"This is not a bad result, lads but we should not have gifted those goals. We were patient and we scored 2 goals. Hayes and Yeading have been impressive this season and I think we'd all accept a point away to Hayes considering our recent bad performances."


Luton 1-0 Grimsby



Quotes from Rowan Alexander

"Oh no! Another defeat? We had a strong team out there today, filled with leaders and influential players. This was a huge match for us at the top of the table. This is the last time I'm accepting a bad result, anymore of the same and we'll see lots and lots of movement in January. Any one of you underperforming will be given the boot. Put this right next week to save your careers. Lets face it, if we fail to win next week, I will consider resigning, maybe the chairman will sack me, then the new manager will come in and want to get rid of you. I'm not having that, are you? Lets pull together, go forward together, win next week against Fleetwood or else every single one of us will be in huge trouble. Including myself."

"We have 3 home games on the bounce coming up. I challenge you to win them all."


---------- Post added at 08:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:40 AM ----------

Grimsby 2-1 Newport County

(Michael Coulson, Terry Dixon)



"A sign of recovery. Well done today. It was very important that we won today. It wasn't a convincing win but a win nonetheless. I told you last week that today would be important. You have done well, lets take this on board and carry this form into the upcoming games. Remember, we have 2 more home games coming up. Home advantage is very important. Show me you want to be here and win both of these games."

Grimsby 2-1 Cambridge United

(Terry Dixon, Tom Brighton)



Quotes from Rowan Alexander

"Well done again. We seem to be improving. This was a tricky match and you have proved to me that you are good enough for this level. I am absolutely delighted with the response you have given me. Lets keep it going."


Grimsby 3-1 Altrincham

(Tom Brighton, Oliver Norwood, Michael Coulson)



Quotes from Rowan Alexander

"Once again, great. This time, we've scored more goals which is even better. This is the end of our 3 home game streak but you have set yourselves up very well for the games coming. Fantastic lads, I'm proud of you! 2 games away now against Mansfield and Forest Green Rovers. Lets show them what we're all about"

Mansfield Town 0-2 Grimsby

(Will Keane, Michael Coulson)



Quotes from Rowan Alexander

"Stunning performance, you are carrying on the good form from our recent home games. That's probably the best performance I've seen all season. You absolutely battered them for the whole match and most importantly, you got all three points. Well done."

Forest Green Rovers 0-3 Grimsby

(Ravel Morrison x2, Terry Dixon)



"Good display, it is never easy coming away from home against a team going through a mini-revival. Great 3 points and we're top of the league again. Excellent, I can't say much more other than keep it going. Lets do that and we'll be successful. Every one of you were solid out there. Just before our horrible drop in form, I said that I want to extend your loan deals. I am in the process of doing that now. I can see that you are enjoying yourselves so lets try and push this through and everyone's a winner."


---------- Post added at 01:44 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 08:25 PM ----------

Winning Streak comes to an end



Grimsby Town's epic 12 game winning streak has came to an end following a 2-2 draw with Tamworth. Tamworth came back from 2 goals down to secure an impressive point. Will Keane and Tom Brighton scored for Grimsby before Tamworth staged a great comeback live on TV.



Quotes from Rowan Alexander
"We are disappointed that we have drawn after being 2-0 up. We were cruising and with the form we are in, we did not see this coming. We remain top of the table 6 points clear and that is a big advantage at this stage."

Meanwhile, Alexander has dismissed talk of a sensational deal for ex-Brazil superstar, Rivaldo. Rowan said "We did move for him, we agreed a fee with his current club, Mogi Mirim although we could not agree personal terms with him. I think that if we pushed the boat out a bit more, we may have signed him but I've decided that we will turn our attentions elsewhere as the signing would be far too big a risk, both on and off the pitch."

Grimsby currently have just 2 predominantly central midfielders on the books and a move for Rivaldo would've strengthened that position greatly but Alexander did have some confirmed transfer news for the Grimsby faithful: "I'm delighted to announce that we have agreed to sign Martin Hardie on a pre-contract agreement from St Johnstone, he will boost our midfield, where we need strengthened and he will offer us a fresher option. Martin is a bit of a hardman in midfield hence his nickname "Mad Martin" and I think that will benefit us, we only have Olly Norwood and Lee Peacock as our central midfielders right now and both are more forward thinking players. Martin's contract expires on December 1st and we will make do with what we've got until then. Lee and Olly have been fantastic this year and we're top of the league with them starting on a regular basis but I feel that Martin will take some weight off their shoulders when he comes in and we won't have to rely so much on both Olly and Lee."



Meanwhile, Grimsby have brought former West Brom man, Ibrahim Sissoko in on trial but Alexander confirmed that he won't be joining the club. "Ibrahim is only here to use the facilities, Alain N'Kong mentioned a few times that he is kicking about in England and it isn't doing us or him any harm with him coming in and training with the lads. He's a top guy but with Martin Hardie coming in next month, there wouldn't be much point in him coming in at this point in time.
 
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The FA Cup last night displayed it's magic again after Blue Square Premier leaders Grimsby Town pulled off a stunning win against a high-flying yet lackstructure Plymouth Argyle side. It was an icy cold early January night, Plymouth fans just want to see their team see off this small outfit by scoring a few goals and hopefully see some young players in action. Just 5584 were at Home Park to watch the tie as Grimsby set up with their tried and trusted 442 system, an over-confident Plymouth side set up with a 343 with in-form Rory Fallon spearheading the attack.

The home side had the better of the opening minutes. Some neat play by Karl Fletcher allowed Rory Fallon to shoot from long range and his shot wickedly deflected off Peter Bore and hit the back of Kenny Arthur's net. Plymouth continued to attack a sturdy Grimsby in the second half and after Martin Hardie won the ball back for Grimsby after 55 minutes, he fired a%
 
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