Why Slade is perfect for Grimsby

Slade the perfect fit – http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiohumberside

Under Marcus Bignot, Grimsby Town often appeared a disjointed collection of individuals. The talent was there and we saw flashes of what they could do against the in-form teams, such as Plymouth, Carlisle and Mansfield, then Blackpool in the Brummie’s final game in charge.

Every good result though was followed by two or three less favourable ones as the inconsistency on the tactics board was reflected on the pitch. Likewise, the lack of patience in Grimsby’s approach play was mirrored in the board room. Though the hectic January window, which included the deadline day sale of top scorer Omar Bogle, suggested Bignot would be given time, a decline from seventh to 15th saw John Fenty and co pull the trigger.

The ex-Solihull Moors boss is replaced by Russell Slade, a manager with a higher pedigree. Had the 56-year-old been appointed a year ago, fresh from a low-budgeted Championship play-off chase with Cardiff, every Mariners fan would be delighted.

Though Slade has had a bad 12 months, he is by no means the main reason for declines at Charlton and Coventry, where discontent lingers with the ownership regime. The best spell of his career came at Leyton Orient, when he was given time to build a cohesive system and find tactical consistency.

He played a huge part in the best ever season of Dean Cox’s career, the 13/14 campaign. The tricky winger’s development under Slade calls into question criticisms of his former boss as a solely defensive coach. After excellent recruitment at Orient, he then got the best out of Lex Immers and Anthony Pilkington at Cardiff, successfully converting the latter into a false nine.

While he has never won a promotion as a manager, he has also reached two play-off finals and achieved good things with limited funds. Grimsby Town have the sixth highest attendances in League Two and more off-field stability than when Slade started his previous spell at Blundell Park, which came after successive relegations.

The Mariners now are better placed to challenge for promotion than a lot of previous clubs the Wokingham-born boss has managed. He will get the best out of a talented Grimsby squad, whilst instilling some much-needed organization.