Paul Hurst reacted to Grimsby Town’s EFL Trophy exit with defeat at home to Bradford City on Tuesday night, with some important lessons to be taken from the game.
The Mariners responded instantly to the visitors’ first goal with Rekeil Pyke netting his second goal in as many games, but in a game of few chances, the decisive moment fell to Bradford with Emanuel Osadebe’s second-half strike being enough to take victory.
It left Town winless from their three group games which guaranteed their Trophy exit with the final group standings still yet to be decided. Hurst had to contend with ten absences on the night, naming a lighter bench and a rotated team as a result, with a clear lack of intensity shown in key moments from Grimsby to go and try and win the game.
“I think there were some positives and some negatives,” admitted Hurst. “Having gone behind when I thought we were doing fine, we responded very quickly. It was a great ball from Harvey Rodgers [for the goal] to Arthur [Gnahoua] who took it well and put a good ball in.
“Rekeil [Pyke] scored it and that is certainly a positive for him. I thought the game was there to go and win and I think we look the more likely [to win] but we gave away a terrible second goal which I’m certainly not happy about.
“Thereafter the lads tried to get back into it and it looks like we had a good chance at the end, but ultimately [the result] means we’re out and whatever people think of [the EFL Trophy] that is not how I wanted it to go.”
Most fans will not be too discouraged from dropping out of this competition given the general view of it at this time, but there are certain aspects of the performance on Tuesday night that should be picked out and analysed.
It is important for Hurst to do that as the manager and he still questions the “mentality” of certain players, focusing on the winning goal as a moment that highlighted this issue.
He added: “I really want that will win to come through and I speak about how every action matters but I still think there are some players that haven’t quite grasped that yet.
“You switch off for a moment, you don’t do your job properly, get in the right position, don’t make a tackle then it can be really costly and [Bradford’s second goal] was certainly an example of that.
“The question is whether you can get the players to understand that and instil the right mentality into them which in the past we’ve done or had players that already have that mentality. At the minute, that is something we’re trying to improve in this group.”
Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/