Ian Holloway admits his Grimsby side looked like strangers against Walsall



Posted Sunday, September 13, 2020 by PA

Ian Holloway admits his Grimsby side looked like strangers against Walsall

Grimsby boss Ian Holloway admitted his new-look Mariners played like strangers at times as they slipped to a 1-0 opening-day defeat at Walsall.

Elijah Adebayo tapped home from close range on the hour mark to give Walsall a victory that could have been more emphatic had Danny Preston not cleared Caolan Lavery’s header off the line.

Lavery and Josh Gordon spurned other clear chances and Grimsby almost pinched a point in stoppage time as substitute James Tilley’s 20-yard strike came back off the upright.

“I wanted us to move it a little bit better but we didn’t work out their formation quickly enough because we looked like we had just met each other to be honest,” Holloway said.

“There were lots and lots of good bits and some not quite so good, probably what I expected really as Walsall are not a bad side and they have kept a lot of their squad from last year.

“Just after half-time, I felt we were moving it much better, looked like the team I want us to be – and then we go and let a goal in.

“All in all I was very pleased but I’ve got so much work to do. We’ve got to blend and bond and get used to each other, but you could see there were snippets because we’ve got an awful lot of talent.

“We’re just not quite a team yet. I was still very encouraged by what we had out there but I am still in the market.

“What I wasn’t happy with was that when we did get in very good areas, we didn’t get enough bodies in the box.”

While Grimsby have brought in a number of players over the summer, Walsall have retained a settled squad but boss Darrell Clarke is still seeking improvement.

“We’ve had numerous chances to be deadly with the final pass but I’m sure when I’m having a glass of red wine tonight, I’ll be delighted with the win,” he said.

“We were a little bit slack but it’s been a really positive week – we’ve had three games, two clean sheets, one against a Championship team, so we’re delighted.

“But we know we’re going to have to get a lot better – having said that, we could have won 3-0 or 4-0 today.

“I’ve got some really good forward-thinking players but we’ve just got to be a bit more clinical at the right times in the right areas.

“But I’m sure with the games coming thick and fast, we will sharpen up at that end.

“We had to do more defending in that last five or 10 minutes than I would like because we weren’t clinical in our final third play.”

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