Grimsby Town boss Michael Jolley has been speaking to the press ahead of his side’s clash against Premier League Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.
The tie has caught the imagination of Mariners supporters with around 5,000 expected in the away end at Stamford Bridge and Jolley told the club’s official website his side would approach the game believing anything is possible.
League Two Grimsby booked their place in the third round of the competition courtesy of victories over Doncaster Rovers and Macclesfield Town to set up the mouth-watering tie against the reigning Europa League champions, currently eleventh in the Premier League.
Nonetheless, Jolley insisted an upset was not out of the realms of possibility for the Mariners despite admitting the two clubs were miles apart in terms of status. He said: ‘It’s going to be a fantastic experience and, as a club and staff, we’re relishing the opportunity that we have.’
‘We understand that if we play Chelsea 1000 times they’d probably beat us 999 times, but we need to find the one in there that we can have some success with,’ before adding, ‘We know the challenge, but it’s exciting to think that anything is possible if we get it right and Chelsea have an off-day – you never know!’
The Grimsby boss also felt the experience of in-form striker James Hanson, who was part of the Bradford City side which famously knocked the Blues out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge in 2015, would be invaluable. He said: ‘It helps having him 100 per cent. It’s a great point to make that somebody who has played there, and won there before, can help all of the other players.’
‘He can talk to them and tell them about his experiences, and share that with them.’
‘Having him in our squad will be a huge help to us, and it will be great to have him there with us.’
Frank Lampard’s men lost their previous fixture 2-1 to European champions Liverpool leaving them still searching for their first home win of the season.
Meanwhile, Grimsby beat Macclesfield Town 1-0 at the weekend and currently sit ninth in League Two.
Jolley has been given time at Grimsby, and he’s slowly starting to build a decent side at Blundell Park.
After failing to kick on following their return to the EFL, they now look a well-drilled side and will head to London full of confidence.
Grimsby fans will enjoy the day out but will hope, just like their boss, that all the stars align to give them a memorable victory.
We wish them luck.