Football: Nationwide League - McGhee rides the pressure

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The Independent Online
MARK McGHEE is keeping his cool as Grimsby Town look to turn up the heat on the under-pressure Wolves manager at Molineux today.

After a promising start to the season, one win from 11 games has led to calls from disgruntled Wanderers fans for the Scot's three-year reign to end. Now Alan Buckley takes the in-form Mariners to the West Midlands aiming to heap more misery on their under-achieving hosts.

However, McGhee is confident their dire run will come to an end sooner rather than later. "We should not panic," he said. "I'm not disappointed with the commitment of the players and we know that eventually we have to start winning again. We have a lot of good players at this club and in terms of effort, I couldn't ask any more.

"It's another game. If we win, it will be on to the next one against Barnsley," McGhee added. "I'm aware of the surrounding hype and speculation but I'm relaxed about it. There's nothing I can do about that. Let the circumstances unfold."

David Connolly could be paired with Dominic Foley up front for Wolves in the absence of Robbie Keane and Steve Bull, both of whom are recovering after knee surgery, after McGhee failed to sign another striker on loan. The defenders Adrian Williams and Dean Richards, together with the midfielder Simon Osborn, are all doubtful.

Grimsby may be without last season's leading scorer Kevin Donovan, who cannot shake off a back problem, but Peter Handyside is added to Buckley's squad after recovering from a broken toe.

Revenge for last season's 5-0 thrashing at Norwich City is the main motivation for table-topping Huddersfield Town when they visit Carrow Road today.

The Terriers, still leading the First Division after Wednesday's draw with second-placed Sunderland, only narrowly avoided relegation and that defeat in East Anglia moved them closer to the drop zone.

Huddersfield's captain, Barry Horne, said: "It'll be a tough game at Norwich but we owe them one big style from last year, when they hammered us." Manager Peter Jackson's plans are hit by the absence of the suspended Grant Johnson. Dave Phillips, Paul Dalton or the fit-again Marcus Browning will deputise.

Horne's former Everton team-mate Matt Jackson will return for Norwich after six weeks out with an ankle injury. Keith O'Neill could be on the bench, but Victor Segura is out with a rib injury.

Sunderland are still without Kevin Phillips for their home game with Bury after the striker failed to shake off a toe injury. But Michael Gray returns after recovering from the ankle injury which kept him out Wednesday's draw with Huddersfield.

Watford, who are fourth, look to build on their 2-1 victory at Bolton on Tuesday when they host in-form Port Vale. The Hornets' manager, Graham Taylor, who has lost the services of the defenders Nigel Gibbs and Keith Millen, said: "Port Vale are always capable of pulling out those surprise results.

"They may not be favourites for promotion, but during the course of the season they will blight a number of other teams' hopes of getting into the Premiership."

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