GRIMSBY Town boss Marcus Bignot has said this Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture at Blackpool is a “must not lose” on the back of the 5-1 defeat at home to Doncaster last weekend.
Speaking to Mariners PlayerHD at his press conference today, the manager said: “It’s a must not lose game for me, and it’s a must-win for them so that will all add to the atmosphere.”
He said: “I want a mentality of a not-lose game and to see that mentality. We discussed the goals from Saturday and how they were conceded, so that desire not to concede and that mentality to stay in every game.
“There will be games when you won’t play well and if you don’t play well then make sure you don’t lose.
“It’s all about getting that mentality now of being in every single game, whether you’re playing well or not because while the scoreline is just a one-goal margin, it only takes a minute to score a goal so make sure you’re still in the game no matter how well or how poorly you’re playing.”
But the gaffer emphasised that it will also be a tough game for the hosts, who are just a place and two points outside the play-offs.
“They’re going for the play-offs and they must win on Saturday – they can’t afford to drop points in the situation they’re in,” he said.
Bignot praised the Seasiders’ strength in depth and admitted his side must be at their best to get a result on the weekend.
He said: “They’ve got options in abundance for that number nine and out wide as well so we’re going to have to be at our best, and it’s going to be a great test for us in terms of us off the ball.
“They conceded late on Saturday and they’ll be really disappointed they didn’t come away with a draw. I believe they’d have felt they had done enough, certainly not to lose the game so they’ll be looking for a response at home, and we’ll be looking for a response from us as well.”
And with over 1,250 away tickets already sold for Saturday’s clash with Gary Bowyer’s side, Bignot said the Mariners owe their fans a good performance.
He said: “Our fans make every away game a home game and they generate a great atmosphere and we’ve got to give them something, and make sure we don’t spoil their weekend.”
Bignot said Saturday’s formation and personnel choices were both as a result of numerous players’ contracts running out this summer so he can give everybody a chance.
He said: “I know it has been a hot topic this week but, rightly or wrongly, the decisions were made. We’re playing for next season and the future, and we’ve got four centre-halves in the squad and the reality is that three of them (Shaun Pearson, Danny Collins, and Gavin Gunning) are out of contract at the end of the season.
“We’ve got to make decisions regarding next season and that will have an effect on what we can do in other areas of the pitch.
“Dan Jones is under contract, he’s 21 years of age and he needs an opportunity because if he isn’t showing potential or that he’s good enough, then why have we got him in the squad?
“And I haven’t had the opportunity to look at him, so we’ll look at him now. He’s been on loan twice this season and he’s out of contract at the end of the season.
“Everything suggests he’s got a real good opportunity to make a career because he has all the attributes, but until you put these players in you won’t know.
“Ultimately he’s in the squad to give competition to Danny Andrew but you can see how important he is to us at the moment, and that has limited Dan Jones’s playing opportunities, and we feel he may be able to add in certain other areas.”
The gaffer also praised forward Sam Jones for his performances since he signed for Town on January Deadline Day.
He said: “He’s in great form. My only wish is that we could’ve got him in earlier in the window. He was one of our number one targets from the beginning of the window so it’s unfortunate we couldn’t get him in earlier.
“I’m just grateful we’ve got him now and I’m really encouraged and looking forward to seeing how he develops so there are a lot of positives with him and how he’s going to fare now as a Football League player. I think he’s only going to go from strength-to-strength.
“And Jamey Osborne as well so we’re looking at those players and I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop.”
The boss also gave injury updates on centre-forwards Akwasi Asante and Scott Vernon.
He said: “Akwasi has been under Dave Moore’s stewardship and we’ll see how he is tomorrow but we’ll leave it as late as possible to give him a chance.
“Scott Vernon’s still out so we could be a little bit short in terms of options and limited for what we can do in the forward areas.”
Tickets for Saturday’s fixture with eighth-placed Blackpool (3pm kick-off) are still available.
Watch the pre match press conference.