Paul Hurst switched up the tactics for Grimsby Town in the Stockport County defeat, hinting that it was possibly an opposition-specific decision, which in turn could become a more common change.
The Mariners have struggled to find consistency in team selection in certain positions this season which has likely been a factor in them not making the start they would have liked. Their style of play is not easily defined as a result of these tactical changes, some of which have been enforced at different points, and has perhaps lead to some uncertainty in the team’s performances.
Town started with a back three with wingbacks on Saturday at Edgeley Park which Hurst made tweaks to mid-game by swapping personnel, which in the end had some success in getting the team back into the game after they fell two goals behind early.
Grimsby were able to almost match their opponents for possession and attempts on goal in the game, which suggests the tactical change had some joy in allowing the team to have some control of the game away at the league leaders in Stockport.
There were encouraging elements of the performance that Town will hope to carry through but results are what matter at this stage with the form as it is and Hurst has to get his tactics right for what is a crucial fixture on Tuesday night.
Colchester United come to Blundell Park without a manager having made a poor start to the season themselves which sees them currently sat second-from-bottom in League Two, but a win against Town would really drive home the danger of the current situation for Hurst’s team.
It would take the U’s to within a point of Town with a game in hand and would drag the Mariners into a battle they would have not expected to be at the start of the campaign. What team and shape Hurst decides to go with is reliant on the availability of some, with Harry Clifton suspended for reaching five yellow cards, and Gavan Holohan perhaps a doubt with the knock that forced him off at Stockport.
Hurst could be light of options in central midfield if Holohan can not start with Evan Khouri also out and Kieran Green still working towards a return, with a spot potential opening up for Alex Hunt or Jamie Andrews to come back in.
Donovan Wilson’s fitness remains a question mark having not yet been able to complete a full game which may also factor into what Hurst goes with on the attacking end, with a switch back to a back-four with more offensive players on the pitch likely for Tuesday night.
Either way, the message to the team should be to take control of their destiny early in the Colchester game and remove any doubt about the result if the opportunity is there, as Town have let opportunities go by too often already this term.
Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/