Grimsby Town manager Michael Jolley believes Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Crewe Alexandra could be the Mariners’ toughest test so far this season.
Town welcome David Artell’s side, who are third in the league – a place above Town, to Blundell Park on Saturday (3pm).
And Jolley believes the Railwaymen could present the Mariners’ biggest challenge yet in the 2019-20 campaign.
Speaking on iFollow Mariners, he said: “It will be a really tough test – Crewe have matured into an excellent team.
“They’ve always had good players but certainly at the moment they’re full of confidence and they’re playing some excellent football.
“So it’s arguably going to be our biggest test so far this season.
“Certainly in terms of the quality and style of play that they bring, it’s a big challenge for anybody.
“The players they’ve got – Charlie Kirk, Tom Lowery, Harry Pickering, Perry Ng, and Owen Dale – there are lots of really good, young players in their team.
“And they’ve got some wise, experienced heads as well – Chris Porter, Paul Green, Eddie Nolan, and Olly Lancashire – they’ve got a really good blend there.
“They are a very good team. Anyone who watches them play can see they play through the lines.
“They’ve got technical players, they’ve got lads in wide areas who are good one-v-one.
“We know their team well and we know the challenge that’s ahead of us.
“We know the size of the task – it will be a tough game, but I expect it to be a good game as well – both teams are playing well at the moment so it should be a good match.”
But Jolley has faith in his side, who are the league’s highest-scorers so far with 13 goals in six matches.
He said: “We’re pleased with the forward players that we’ve got – I think they all bring something slightly different to the party.
“We’ve given ourselves more variety in terms of the attacking play that we can produce, and we’ve got more different ways of trying to score a goal, so we’ve done well with that so far but we have to keep it going.
“We’ve got some difficult selections up there because Harry Cardwell scored on Tuesday, Ahkeem Rose is returning to fitness, and Max Wright and Charles Vernam have affected the games that they’ve come on in.
“So we’ve got good competition for places in the attacking positions.”
Harry Davis will miss the game through his shoulder injury, while Harry Clifton is on international duty with Wales U21.
Watch Michael Jolley’s full pre-Crewe Alexandra press conference for free on iFollow Mariners.