Ian Holloway on the prospect of facing Colchester United

IAN Holloway admits his Grimsby Town side will be coming up against a 'very tough opponent' when they visit Colchester United tonight.

But the Mariners boss says it will be all about what his side does when they take on the high-flying U's, at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Holloway has so far taken charge of eight games since taking over as Grimsby manager, on December 31.

The former QPR boss has presided over three wins and three draws since taking the helm and says he is concentrating on his own team tonight.

Holloway said: "We’ve got a very tough opponent.

"They’re on a fantastic run of form, they’ve just beaten Plymouth, so we know what we’re up against but for me it’s all about what my lads are doing.

"I’m seeing it day in, day out, I’m listening to them and I’m watching them work, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the way they’re enjoying what I’m asking them to do, and that means an awful lot to me.

"The lads who have just come in, the week we’ve had with those new lads, I’m delighted with them.

"I think they’ve lifted the level, I think we’ve all got competition for places, and I don’t want to keep strapping the same horses to my cart.

"At the end of the day, I strap 11 to it and off we go.

"To me it’s more like something I was watching yesterday, more like the Queen’s beautiful gold carriage rather than a cart, that’s what Grimsby means to me.

"I’m going to look at who I strap to this one, and see if we can gallop on and get the right result.

"We’ve had a few who have been out who are likely to break if I keep putting them in the same team and doing the same thing over and over again.

"The other ones are catching up, and the right thing to do is to make one or two changes to make sure I’m attempting to win this game, and I’m attempting to get the squad up to speed, and then let them fight for that shirt."

Grimsby midfielder Jake Hessenthaler is definitely out of tonight's game after suffering a broken rib, ligament damage across the shoulder and collarbone, as well as a punctured lung against Stevenage.

Jordan Cook and Harry Davis will both miss out as well but former U's loanee Bradley Garmston could feature against his old club.

Holloway added: "Bradley (Garmston)’s more than ready.

"The way we train and the way we prepare, everybody’s doing exactly the same thing, and the level of what we’re doing out there is really pleasing me.

"Everybody understands what I want them to do, so now I look at this game coming up, look at the run they’re on, and see if I might need to freshen things up."