The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By John Lyons

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

AXED: Mar­cus Bignot RE­TURN: Rus­sell Slade is back at Grimsby Town

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