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David Artell won’t be celebrating Grimsby survival after beating Swindon

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Apr 2024

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Manager David Artell professed Grimsby will not celebrate survival in League Two after beating Swindon 2-0 at Blundell Park to secure their fate for next term.

Cheltenham loanee Liam Smith and forward Donovan Wilson scored the goals in the final quarter of the game to secure the win for the Mariners, who toiled for an opening goal for 75 minutes before the two late strikes came.

Closest rivals Sutton drew with Crawley which meant Artell’s side would have stayed up regardless of their own result but he was pleased to see quality prevail in the end to grab the win.

He said: “We’re not celebrating staying up. We’ve done our job by winning the game through having a good defensive shape and showing some quality in the final third when it mattered.

“We’ve often lacked quality in games but when we have had it recently then we’ve won games of football. Callum Ainley comes on and shows a great bit of skill to play in Liam when others might not have seen that pass.

“Goals change games and that moment changed the game and then Donovan scores a cracker. We’ve done our job in staying up but we’re not going to celebrate because we shouldn’t have been in this situation in the first place.

“I’ll take a fair amount of blame for that – it’s not about portioning out blame really but I make the decisions and the buck stops with me. Since the Doncaster game, we’ve undoubtedly improved and we haven’t lost many [at Blundell Park] since as a result.”

For Swindon, interim head coach Gavin Gunning got a chance to look at some young and upcoming talent in the game with their safety already secured as he reflected on a difficult campaign with one game still to play.

He said: “The composure Harley [Hunt] has shown in the game is fantastic and the young players are learning all the time and doing brilliant stuff at the same time. They’ve made mistakes but they’re learning from them which is part of the process.

“It’s been a bad season – we had a good first eight games but after that it has not been good enough and it is as simple as that. We stemmed the tide to start with [after the managerial change] and we’ve had to look at things differently in recent weeks.

“The last two games have been about giving some of the younger players a chance.

“We could’ve been ruthless and not given them a chance but when you know you’re safe, having won three out of the previous four, it is key to take this chance to see what the youth players can do at this level.”

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