SLADE’S IN AS BIGNOT GETS BOOT
GRIMSBY Town director John Fenty admitted he’s ‘tickled pink’ to have brought Russell Slade back to the club – after the agonising decision to sack Marcus Bignot.
Bignot was only appointed manager of the EFL new boys in November, after Paul Hurst took the chance to move up to League One with Shrewsbury Town.
The Mariners were eighth in the table when the former QPR full-back took the reins but had slipped to 14th by the time of his departure.
However, the 42-year-old had lost the services of his former Solihull Moors striker Omar Bogle to Championship strugglers Wigan in January. His last match in charge was a fine 3-1 victory at League Two play-off chasers Blackpool last Saturday.
Fenty told The FLP: “I have a few more grey hairs now and I’ve lost a lot of sleep. Letting both Marcus and his assistant Mickey Moore go was a terribly difficult decision for the board and me to take.
“We didn’t bring Marcus in with the intention of him failing. Unfortunately, we’ve made a decision that things weren’t working as we’d hoped and planned. I have no doubt Marcus will go on to be a successful manager but I don’t think Grimsby was right for him now. “One of the things that probably hindered him was the size of the squad. We brought a lot of players in in January and it’s been difficult to manage so many players. We have something like 31 on the books with a couple loaned out. “We didn’t get the players out on loan that it was suggested could have been and that has been an Achilles heel. It could have avoided some of the factions.”
While Grimsby went for an EFL rookie last time, this time they’ve gone for the opposite in Slade. After taking the Mariners to the League Two play-off final in his first stint in charge at Blundell Park from 20042006, the 56-year-old went on to manage Yeovil, Brighton, Leyton Orient, Cardiff, Charlton and Coventry, the troubled latter pair this term.
Fenty said: “I can’t tell you how pleased we are to have him back. We know what he’s about and what he’s capable of. He’s approaching 750 games as a manager and between him and his assistant Paul Wilkinson, we believe we have a very experienced team to take us forward.
“Next season the challenge is to get to 50 points as quickly as possible.
“We want to progress and be at a higher level but we aren’t in a position to pile pressure on ourselves. We want to support them the best we can.”
AXED: Marcus Bignot RETURN: Russell Slade is back at Grimsby Town