Bradford City v Grimsby Town: Paul Hurst hoping for performance similar to Gillingham win

Paul Hurst hopes the approach of his Grimsby Town players will not change from what is expected in front of the TV cameras as they take Bradford City this weekend.

With the international break bringing a pause to the schedule for England’s top two divisions, Sky Sports selected the Mariners’ trip to Valley Parade on Saturday afternoon to be shown live to viewers across the country.

Town’s trip to Bradford last term produced a five-goal thriller with the Bantams coming out on top on that occasion but Hurst’s men will be out to make an early statement to the rest of the division and they can certainly do that by beating one of the promotion favourites.

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“We’re on TV as well which adds something extra to the mix,” said Hurst. “Ultimately that shouldn’t change our approach or any players’ approach. My message to the players will be to not do anything they wouldn’t normally do just because there are a few extra cameras there.

“There will be some extra people watching across the country and potentially around the world, so we want to put on a good show of course but in reality that is always the desire.”

Grimsby head into Saturday with the same squad of players available from last weekend’s victory at home to Gillingham, with no fresh concerns coming from the midweek EFL Trophy trip to Barnsley.

As expected, Otis Khan and Donovan Wilson remain unavailable as they continue their recoveries from pre-season issues with Charles Vernam out long-term, so there is unlikely to be much change to the team that picked up a good result last weekend.

On the Bradford match-up, Hurst added: “The mindset going into this game should be to flick back to the performance levels we saw against Gillingham. We’re going to have to be good, Bradford have arguably had a mixed start in terms of results but we all know that the expectation there will be to win promotion.

“They’ll be aware that it is a tough challenge ahead, but they’re a big club for this league who are very well-supported and it is one of those fixtures that you look forward to because you know there is going to be a great atmosphere.”

This fixture potentially has added interest on it for Abo Eisa, who joined Town from the Bantams in the summer after two injury-hit seasons in West Yorkshire, where he never got to fully prove himself as a player.

He has hit the ground running in the black and white shirt, however, with four goals in six league games with a couple of eye-catching strikes in there and his current manager will hope he can continue that strong start on Saturday.

“He’ll be pleased with his start,” explained Hurst. “He has got a couple of goal-of-season contenders already and has looked a threat throughout. He seems to enjoy working with myself and Chris [Doig], and the big thing for him now is trying to stay fit.

“It’s early days still but it has been promising from pre-season through to where we currently are. It didn’t work out for him [at Bradford] but in fairness, he spent a lot of that time injured and they have a good squad there.

“I don’t think there is any real ill feeling there it will be more just trying to show that they had signed a good player but sometimes you just have those spells where it doesn’t work.”

Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/

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