Pompey v Grimsby: the opposition view
League Two safety is assured for Grimsby, not that there was any real doubt.
However, considering it’s their first season back in the Football League, to stay up with 10 games to go and be in with a shout of the play-offs is quite an achievement.
There has been a bit of discontent along with the way over a few results, but overall the supporters have to be happy.
The Mariners have also picked up some really good results on the road, including victories at Plymouth and Carlisle.
They have demonstrated they belong in this league and, following a number of signings in January, are quite an exciting team at present.
If they don’t make the play-offs this season, they could well reach them next term.
Of course, the main target has been stability, even if one eye has been on the play-offs for a while. However, things have eased off in recent weeks and it’s looking like a mid-table finish.
Boss Marcus Bignot, who replaced Shrewsbury-bound Paul Hurst in October, has had to find a way to cope without Omar Bogle and, obviously, it has been a struggle.
You wouldn’t have expected anything else by taking those 19 goals out of the team, but Calum Dyson is finding his feet as a replacement.
Loaned from Everton on deadline day in preparation for Bogle’s exit, he has shown glimpses of what he can produce, particularly the first goal against Mansfield when he cut inside and slotted into the bottom corner.
The 20-year-old is not quite up to the consistency of regular first-team football, but remains encouraging.
While Bogle was still there, Bignot must have fancied his chances of reaching the play-offs, but they were never going to keep him once Wigan came calling.
Following his departure, Danny Andrew has emerged as the front-runner for player of the season.
The left-back set up the opening goal at Orient and has been a constant threat all season, barely putting a foot wrong.
On the other flank, Zac Mills has replaced Ben Davies as right-back.
Davies has done well and was in the team at the start of the season before injury, but Mills is now the first choice and doing really well.
The former Pompey player has made nine appearances since returning from injury at the end of December, but Mills presently has the nod.
Davies is certainly still a big part of the team and Bignot considers him as important to what he wants to achieve this season.
However, Mills has not done anything wrong to warrant coming out of the side – and Davies needs to be patient.