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Pre Morecambe Press Conference

Paul Wilkinson talks to the press ahead of the visit of Jim Bentley's side

5 January 2018

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6 January 2018

Grimsby Town assistant manager Paul Wilkinson hopes the Mariners can return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two when they welcome Morecambe to Blundell Park tomorrow (3pm).

Russell Slade’s men – who are 14th – are winless in five, but went on a four-game unbeaten run before that, and Wilkinson hopes the Mariners can re-discover their good form when they host the league’s 21st-placed side tomorrow.

Speaking on iFollow Mariners, he said: “We’ve got to pick a team that we think can beat Morecambe. It’s going to be another tough game for us, it’s another team that have picked up a little bit lately, so it’s going to be a tough match.

“We maybe lost a little bit of belief over the last couple of games, probably one or two things haven’t quite gone our way, and that sometimes happens.

“We’d had a really good run before that, and the game against Accrington we didn’t quite do ourselves justice on the day, and then at Crewe we thought we played quite well and didn’t get what we deserved out of the game.

“These things happen sometimes – when you’ve had a good run, you get a couple of knock-backs, and the big thing for us is to try and bounce back at the weekend and get back to winning ways.

“It’s not going to be easy because Morecambe are a strong team, they’ve picked up lately, and like every game in this league you’ve got to be at your best.”

And the assistant boss recalled Town’s 0-0 draw with Jim Bentley’s side at the Globe Arena in October.

“It was probably one of the hardest games weather-wise that we’ve had all season, but on the day we thought that we did well – we ground out a point.

“And it’s going to be one of those games tomorrow – it’s going to be a tough game, there isn’t going to be a lot in it, and it’s going to be one that we’ll have to be ready for.”

And Wilkinson, who scored more than 100 league goals in his 18-year career as a striker, hopes Town can be more clinical in the final third, ahead of the clash with the Shrimps tomorrow.

“I think we put in over 20 crosses v Crewe so we’re getting into the right areas – we feel as though we are creating chances – it’s just a matter of if we can be a little bit more ruthless and convert one or two more of those chances.

“We addressed at the start of the season when we conceded a few goals early on and we addressed that, and now we’re looking at the other end to try and make sure that we’re creating the opportunities.”

He added that he and Slade are working hard to bring some more new faces in during the January transfer window, following the loan signing of goalkeeper Jake Kean from Sheffield Wednesday earlier today.

“The gaffer’s working really hard – we were here until late last night. We’re trying to make sure that we can improve the squad and bring people in to help bulk the squad up, we are busy working on that at this moment in time.

“If we can improve and bring in somebody who can help us, and if the right person becomes available, and the right deal can be done, then there’s every chance we’ll try and bring somebody in.

“It’s extremely hard because everyone’s in the same situation, everyone’s vying for the same players so it’s always going to be difficult, but the gaffer works tirelessly on the situation.

“We are trying to make progress. As with all football things, it’s a million-dollar question because things do change minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, but we are working extremely hard behind the scenes.

“If we can bring people in then it’ll be great, if it doesn’t happen, then we carry on.”

He also dismissed rumours that Sky Bet League One side Scunthorpe United have expressed an interest in top-scorer Sam Jones – who has scored six league goals for Town this season.

And he confirmed that midfielder Chris Clements has now returned from his loan spell with National League outfit Barrow.

He added that Sam Jones, Zak Mills, and Siriki Dembele are all expected to be available for selection for tomorrow’s game, following suffering knocks in the past week.

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