Oster is Mariners' danger man
Player to Watch - John OsterThe return of right-winger John Oster yesterday on a second loan spell from Sunderland has given struggling Grimsby Town a terrific boost, writes Tony Garnett.
Player to Watch - John Oster
The return of right-winger John Oster yesterday on a second loan spell from Sunderland has given struggling Grimsby Town a terrific boost, writes Tony Garnett.
Grimsby had their best spell of the season in the weeks up to the New Year while Oster was the key man in their attacking build-up.
Then Sunderland recalled him because of an injury crisis at the Stadium of Light.
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Ever since then Grimsby form has dipped and player-manager Paul Groves has been on the phone regularly to Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson hoping to persuade him to let Oster rejoin the Mariners' bid for Division One survival.
Now the 23-year-old Welsh international is back at Blundell Park. There is renewed optimism which is a big lift for the entire club. Oster started his career at Grimsby, making 24 League appearances in the 1996-97 season before being snapped up by Everton.
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He made 40 appearances and scored one goal for the Merseyside giants before a move to Sunderland, but he was unable to establish himself under Peter Reid.
Today Oster could find himself being marked by a former Sunderland colleague, Chris Makin.
Another Grimsby new boy, no doubt wearing one of those black and white striped shirts which leave the number on the back a mystery to most, is six-foot midfielder Richard Hughes, signed yesterday on loan from Portsmouth.
Hughes, a Scottish Under-21 international, started his career as an Arsenal trainee.
Then he had four successful seasons with Bournemouth before a move to Portsmouth last Summer.