GRIMSBY’S shameful scenes during their defeat against Bradford City last week summed up a season which has gone from bad to worse for the Mariners.

The struggling club gained unwanted national headlines when striker Stefan Payne was sent off for headbutting his own team-mate – ex-Bolton favourite Fil Morais – as the pair walked down the tunnel at half time.

Ian Evatt has called for ‘fight’ from his own players at various stages of the season but admits he would draw the line at such indiscipline.

But the Bolton boss feels the incident shows there is still some life left in tomorrow’s opponents, even if it painted the Blundell Park club in a bad light.

“I remember it happening with Lee Bowyer and Kieran Dyer when I was a lot younger – I think they both got sent off,” Evatt recalled.

“As much as it is wrong, and it is wrong, and it should not happen between team-mates on the field, it does still show they are fighting and that they care.

“They have not given up. It is a message to our players that they still want this, they are still capable of getting on with it. We have to be ready.”

Over the course of the season Evatt is pleased to say his own dressing room has become self-policing, as his players have better understood their duties.

“When players understand their roles and responsibility and what they expected to do individually and collectively, you then get accountability,” he said.

“The players can hold each other accountable. When you make mistakes it is not always criticism, it is sometimes feedback. And the difference between the two is crucial, it is about how you interpret it.

“Our players are interpreting it all as feedback now because they want to improve. It is a simple message but it is one they have really taken on board.”

Evatt is well aware that Wanderers go into the game as heavy favourites at Grimsby but has sounded a note of caution to his players about their opponents, who are currently bottom of League Two. He said: “For me, this will be the most difficult game in the run-in, for a number of reasons, because of the game on Tuesday and the physicality of that game and the emotion in that game and to come away from that with a great victory and such a good performance, that mental switch on of playing the bottom of the league team can affect the players’ mindset.

“I don’t feel that with my players though, I must say. I don’t think they’re in that frame of mind, but it could be the case. Grimsby, as much as they’re bottom of the league, before Saturday where they only lost by the odd goal and had 10 men for over 45 minutes, were seven or eight unbeaten. This is a given and it isn’t a gimme. Cheltenham have been there in recent history and only drew and were behind.

“They don’t concede many goals, they’re physical, it’s demanding, they’re very direct with long throws and set pieces, what we’ve seen of late from other teams. We’re going to have to make sure we match all of that and then bring our A game.”