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James McKeown: 'Grimsby Town Are Moving In The Right Direction'

Grimsby Town goalkeeper says manager Michael Jolley has the Mariners moving in the "right direction"

15 February 2019

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Grimsby Town goalkeeper James McKeown says the Mariners are going in the “right direction” under boss Michael Jolley in Sky Bet League Two.

The 29-year-old has made 398 appearances for Town since moving to Blundell Park in 2011.

And he has said that the Mariners are creating an identity by bringing through young players from the club’s youth academy system.

Speaking exclusively on iFollow Mariners, he said: “I know they’re only small things, but Ollie Battersby and Mattie Pollock getting professional contracts, and Brandon Buckley getting a couple of first-team appearances.

“Harry Clifton now – I know since he’s been injured we’ve been on a good run, but most people would have him in their team every week – he’s become a real key player for us.

“Ahkeem Rose has scored, and Max Wright has done really well out on loan – and they’re only the names off the top of my head!

“We’re getting a core of young players, who the club means something to, coming through and really having a chance to develop and move forward.

“That’s one massive area, and all these little things start to add up and you get that feeling going.

“From a year ago, the difference is astronomical. The key is the long-term stuff that we’re doing off the pitch, but making sure that we’re right in the short-term, and making sure that we’re in a good position.

“It looks like the gaffer has got it right on the pitch, and we’re definitely going in the right direction, and we’ve got to match it off the pitch, and that’s probably going to be the aim for the next couple of years I’d imagine.”

Town are looking to make it four league wins on the bounce on Saturday as they welcome Cheltenham Town to Blundell Park (3pm).

And McKeown hopes the Mariners can pick up their first home league victory over the Robins since 2006.

He said: “Going there just before Christmas was probably our best performance we’d done in a while in that period, and we lost – sometimes you do get days like that.

“I think if we match that performance, we’ll be okay. We’ve had some not great games against them.

“So I think we’re certainly due a good performance, and a win, against them, and I think the run we’re on makes a big difference.

“We’re playing in a team which is confident now, and it’s looking like everyone, and everything, at the club is going in the direction you’d want it to go in, which is probably a testament to the gaffer and the players.

“It’s a good opportunity again for us, there’s no getting away from that, because we’re at home and we’ve won three on the spin, so now it’s about trying to make it four!”

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Cheltenham Town at Blundell Park as we look to make it four league wins on the bounce.

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