Grimsby Town boss Russell Slade has been evaluating the Mariners’ striking options ahead of his side’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Crawley Town at Broadfield Stadium this Saturday (3pm).
Watch Slade's full pre-Crawley press conference for free above.
Town face Harry Kewell’s men, who are 12th-placed in the league, this weekend, and Slade has been full of praise for Simeon Jackson – who scored on his debut in the Mariners’ 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town last weekend – ahead of the trip to Crawley.
“Bringing Simeon in has helped us because he does get in the box, and he’s able to nick a goal. We’ve got to be ruthless in front of goal.
“Sometimes you need to nick a goal against the run of play, or if you’re under pressure, and I think he’s the type that’s capable of doing that.
“Charles Vernam can play with most forwards. It is early days because Simeon’s only been in a week, and Charles has only been in about three weeks so it takes a little bit of time for those partnerships to flourish. Charles just did a job for the team on the right-wing against Cheltenham.
“You look at individuals to ensure that on a daily basis, they look like they’re in-form, and they’re playing well.
“And then you’re looking for that partnership as well. You need partnerships on the pitch, and all those issues will come into calculations.
“But we do look at those sorts of things in training – see whether there’s a better combination or somebody that seems to be on the same wavelength.
“And sometimes that happens, and players hit it off very quickly, and that’s what we’ll be looking to achieve.”
And Slade said his Mariners players are battling to turn their current form around.
“The boys are working really hard at trying to turn it around, and everybody knows it’s tough but we know we’re capable of doing it.
“We’re in a battle whatever. When you’re out of form, you’re in a battle, and you need to get over that battle and turn things around.
“And that’s what we’re trying to do, concentrate on ourselves – not what’s around us – to try and get better, and get those points.
“What you really want to be doing is looking up, and not looking down.
“We know we have to work hard, we have to create that momentum. Things can change, and let’s hope they change on Saturday.”
The gaffer highlighted Crawley’s current good form, with Harry Kewell’s men winning six of their last seven league games.
“They’re in good form at the minute so that will breed a lot of confidence within their football club.
“I saw them against Notts County – they were under pressure, got a goal and got themselves in front, Notts County equalised and looked like they were going to go on and win it, and Crawley got a late goal.”
Ben Davies, Jake Kean, Danny Collins, and James McKeown are all set to miss Saturday’s game with injuries, while Siriki Dembele is a doubt with a back problem.
Slade also praised 19-year-old midfielder Harry Clifton, who made his EFL debut in the Mariners’ 3-0 defeat at Yeovil Town last week.
“He was delighted just to get those minutes in the first-team in the Yeovil game. He’s always in and around it, he’s always in the 20-man squad, he’s always training with the first-team.
“And when he’s called upon, he’ll roll his sleeves up and give us his best.”
And the Town boss wished Akwasi Asante the best for his future, following the striker’s departure from the Mariners this week.
“He was struggling to stake a claim at the football club here. He had his loan at Solihull where he wasn’t always a starter, but I think he needs to kick-start his career, and it was an opportunity for him to go and get that going again.”