A ‘Southgate-like’ cautious approach can’t work for Hurst

A ‘Southgate-like’ cautious approach can’t work for Hurst

Grimsby are currently on a barren run of results, the like of which is resembling to the doomed relegation fate of last season, and a change of approach is the way to turn narrow losses into points.

The Mariners are currently 19th in the form table over the last 10 games, which is comparable to relegation-threatened Weymouth.

In an approach which can be successful, but has frustrated fans throughout the run, manager Paul Hurst favours caution, it is often that the midfield will be able to hold onto the ball but often struggle to break through stern defences.

Positive performances at home to Chesterfield and both recent games to Halifax have been pleasing but have yielded just one point across all of them, with a lack of cutting edge damaging the side.

A lack of ‘plan B’ seems to leave Town waiting for their fate in games with predictable substitutions, if they are made at all, in an approach akin to Gareth Southgate’s conservative approach.

Once the clock reaches the 70th minute, it is often a wide option who is brought on in a like-for-like substitution or another target man is brought on to convert from a 4-4-1-1 to a 4-4-2.

This predictability is not a million miles away from how the England manager has managed games, controversially not making any changes whatsoever in a recent defeat to Hungary, he also often resorted to bringing Jack Grealish on with 20 minutes to go in Euro 2020, in a routine that angered fans.

But unlike England, Grimsby do not have an exciting star they can rely upon to save games when the clock is running down and the defence has done it’s job.

The Mariners lack a clinical forward who can be relied upon, and while John McAtee has impressed, he is a workhorse who looks to play behind a striker.

Grimsby now have a January transfer window to try and bolster the squad and save a season that looked promising but has quickly unravelled.

All five loan slots are available, but in that have lost key performers in the core of the squad, in the form of Ryley Towler and Alex Hunt.

Full backs are a must, with Seb Revan and Ryan Sears’ departures and Michee Efete’s injury woes.

A clinical striker is also a necessity, every successful Paul Hurst side has had one crucial target at the top of the pitch, whether it be Padraig Amond or Omar Bogle and Ryan Taylor has not shown such lethal finishing to be that star striker.

But as things stand, Grimsby can not approach every game with the mindset that a goal will come with the flow of the game as that hasn’t happened for months.

As much as nice passing plays are satisfying to watch, there needs to be tangible end product at the end of them, otherwise Grimsby will continue to win the possession battle but lose on the scoresheet.

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