Press Conference | Pre Colchester

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Grimsby Town boss Russell Slade says the Mariners are working hard to put their recent dip in form behind them, ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Colchester United (3pm).

Town travel to the Colchester Community Stadium at the weekend as they face the league’s 11th-placed side, and Slade says his players are trying their best to get back to winning ways following last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Newport County.

Speaking on iFollow Mariners, he said: “Everybody’s wanting to put it right – that’s the important thing – and whatever 11 we put out on Saturday, we’ll do everything we can to turn our fortunes around.

“It’s tough, it’s hard, but there’s a willingness to turn it around, and that’s the most important thing.

“We’ve got some good types in the changing room – that will help because we don’t want confidence to slip away, we want to get back on it.

“I’ve been in the game long enough to know it can change so you work towards changing that, and that group of players is capable of turning it around, and we have to breed that confidence.

“You’ve got to react in those situations, you’ve got to find a way through it, and I’m sure we will.

“We’re hopeful that we can turn it around as quickly as we can, and Saturday is the next opportunity to do that.

“I didn’t get carried away when we won a few games and, as disappointed as I am, it’s important not to get too down about losing as well.

“It doesn’t look good at the minute because we’ve not won in seven games, but that can change around.”

And Slade said he won’t be afraid to make a few changes for the clash with the U’s, if he feels it’s necessary.

“Whether it’s an individual player, whether it’s a system or a strategy, we have to be open-minded enough to change to maybe give us that kick-start.

“We’re looking at a few things, I think it’s important to be open-minded in what we’re trying to do. Change has to be for the better, and without it being better it’s wrong.

“But if we have to change it and we have to do things for the better, then we will,” he said.

The U’s are winless in four league games, and Slade said John McGreal will be looking for a reaction from his men.

He said: “They’re looking for form themselves because they’ve dipped a little bit, which tends to happen to a lot of teams in this league – it’s that consistency that everybody’s striving for, and that high level of performance week in, week out.

“They’ve changed their shape many times, in terms of being three at the back, and changed their midfield around a little bit.

“And I’m sure John McGreal will be looking for a response from his team as well.”

The gaffer said he was pleased with the FA’s decision to overturn striker Jamille Matt’s suspension – for his red card during last weekend’s defeat to Newport – earlier this week.

“We did think it was harsh, he did very little wrong – he was just being competitive against a centre-half – and I was a bit disappointed with the way their centre-half went down, because we didn’t think he lifted an elbow.

“And if he did catch him in any way, he didn’t do any damage at all. We restarted the game, as we put in the report, one minute and 30 seconds later, so it couldn’t have been that hard,” he said.

Siriki Dembele had a couple of days off training due to a back problem earlier this week, but the gaffer hopes to have him back for the weekend.

He added that goalkeeper James McKeown is working hard to recover from his groin injury as quickly as possible.

“It’s his kicking muscle so when that does go, it takes a little bit of time to get back, and he is working really hard in the gym and with Dave Moore.”


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