Grimsby Town defender Alex Whitmore says the Mariners’ team spirit and unity could be important in the Lincolnshire Derby this weekend.
Town welcome Lincoln City to Blundell Park in Sky Bet League Two tomorrow (1pm), and centre-half Whitmore believes the Town squad are well-equipped for the task at hand.
Speaking exclusively on iFollow Mariners, he said: “We want to be as consistent as we can, and tomorrow is a perfect game for us – the next one in the league, and we fully intend to continue the form that we showed against Macclesfield.
“We had a real fighting group against Macclesfield – everyone dug in for each other, everyone’s got each other’s back, and we’ve got lads who will go the extra mile for each other in this group.
“Tomorrow’s a huge game for it – it really will set the tone for it, so we plan on going at it. It should be a good game, and we’re setting ourselves up nicely for it.
“We’ve got a real togetherness and the lads listen to each other, and it will play a massive part if we stick together – like we did at Macclesfield.”
And the 22-year-old emphasised the importance of keeping calm and sticking to the game-plan, especially in derby matches.
He said: “There’s always that extra bit of emotion – everyone wants to do well. Everyone knows how much it means to the fans – it’s huge, and we want to make them proud of us, and deliver a performance.
“Emotions are involved – it’s an emotional game, but if we can keep our heads and just do our business, take the emotion out of it as best we can, then we’ll be absolutely fine.
“If you lead by example and you can keep your head, and if even one person half-buys into that then that’s perfect because everyone passes it onto each other.”
Whitmore praised the Town fans for their support so far this season, and said they can help create a positive atmosphere inside Blundell Park for the Mariners this weekend.
“I can’t wait. I’ve heard a few things from a few of the more local boys, and I do think they understand how big it is – it’s huge.
“We’re expecting a big turnout, which is what we need – we want the fans behind us, as they have been.
“The fans can play a huge part. The way they’ve been the last three games has been incredible – they deserve the best, and we plan on delivering a performance that they can be proud of.
“We know that they’re going to be there behind us, which is fantastic, so if it gives us a 12th-man boost then that’s brilliant because it will play a huge part.”
Tickets are still available for tomorrow, but they are selling quickly.