“We know what we’re after, they know what we’re after, and it’s about execution now."
Grimsby Town manager Russell Slade says the Mariners are eager for the kick-off of their season opener at Chesterfield this weekend.
Town start their Sky Bet League Two season at the Proact Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off) and boss Slade told iFollow Mariners that he’s looking forward to getting the campaign underway.
He said: “It’s a tough place to go, and a new stadium for our fans – it’s a good stadium and it’ll be rocking on Saturday because we’re taking so many down there, and it’s a fantastic turnout that we will have.
“We’ve got as passionate fan as there is in League Two so they’ll be bouncing for us on Saturday, and we’ll have no excuses.
“We know what we’re after, they know what we’re after, and it’s about execution now.
“You can’t go into the season without a game plan, without a strategy, without individuals knowing their jobs, without collective responsibility knowing each other’s jobs – and I think we do.
“We’ve got to get to know each other better still – there are still things that we need to work on, but for sure we have a really strong attitude and a really strong work ethic and everybody’s trying to be the best version of themselves every time they rock up.
“We’ve gradually built up what we require from the individual, what we require from the team, so it’s not about feeding them loads of information and plenty of food on the last day before we go into battle, because we’ve done that over a six-week period.
“They’ll look to play from the back, that’s how his (Chesterfield manager Gary Caldwell’s) teams play.
“He’s had a promotion so he knows how to get a team prepared, and they’ve made a lot of new signings – you’ll have to ask him how well they’ve all settled in because I don’t know.
“I would think by the amount of signings they’ve made and what they’ve tried to do, they’ve got it as imperative priority to get out of this league.
“He’s got a big squad to choose from and I think he’ll probably be playing 4-3-3 or a diamond shape, but we know what we’re going to be doing so that’s the most important thing, and let’s hope we can impose our game plan upon them.”
The gaffer reflected on a successful pre-season, but also spoke of Jamey Osborne’s knee ligament injury.
“Preparation has gone as good as it could be expected. The one disappointment is losing one player because you try to get through pre-season with all your players intact and fit, and we’ve lost Jamey Osborne.
“It was in training, just doing a warm-up, doing some short stuff, and unfortunately with the greasy conditions his knee slipped underneath and he’s done the damage, which will take some time to repair but he’s on his way back.
“He seems a bit more positive now as he starts to find his way back.
“The rest of it we feel has gone relatively well. All that work you do won’t replace what happens on Saturday, and it’s sure to be a frantic opening game,” he said.
Osborne joins Akwasi Asante, Chris Clements, and Sean McAllister on the injured list, meaning they’ll all be unavailable for Saturday’s clash with the Spireites.
Slade also gave an update on his search for a new striker.
He said: “We’d like to think we’re close. It’s always a process, that’s the point. Sometimes we get very close like we did with a striker a week ago – it’s agreed, virtually, with the football club but it didn’t quite get over the line – so sometimes it can be disappointing, but we’re hopeful that we can get one over the line.
“That’s been relentless, really. We’ve not stopped trying to attract a forward to the football club.”
Watch the full interview for for free on iFollow (above).
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