TOWN defender Shaun Pearson says that he is pleased to have Aristote Nsiala on his side - rather than the opposition.
The two players locked horns during the two league meetings between the Mariners and Southport last season and Shaun says that the Congolese player is a tough cookie.
He said: "We had a couple of battles and he's already had a couple of tussles with Lenny in training. That's all part of the game. We've spoken about it and we've had a laugh about it.
"We are getting on pretty well and he seems to have integrated into the squad well. He's a big lad so it is nice to have him on my side."
The two central defenders won't be paired in a competitive game until at least the home game against Dover on August 16. Toto will miss Town's opener at Bristol Rovers through suspension, after being sent off in Southport's final game of last season, while Shaun will have to sit out the first two games after totting up 15 yellow cards last season.
Scott Neilson will also miss Town's opening three games after being sent off in the play-off semi final at Gateshead.
Catch the full interview with Shaun on Mariners Player.