Paul Hurst reckons there is more to come from Grimsby after they ended their three-match losing stretch in Sky Bet League Two with a 2-1 victory against mid-table Barrow at Blundell Park.
Goals from Danny Rose and Donovan Wilson – seconds after stepping off the bench – sealed the three points to move their side up to 16th position in the table.
Grimsby striker Abo Eisa had earlier missed an 18th-minute penalty, while 10th-placed Barrow struck late on with a consolation from Sam Foley.
“That game shows what a strange business we are in,” Hurst said. “That’s the worst we have played by a long, long way and we’ve won the game.
“It looked like confidence had been sucked from the players, which I don’t get even though we have lost games.
“We weren’t very good tonight and I’ll always be honest. There was no real fluency, we were snatching at clearances, but we won the game even though it wasn’t a nice watch.
“I said to the players, we had to do whatever it takes to stop that losing run that we have been on, and they have done that with a valuable three points.
“They know we haven’t played as well as I would have liked.”
Both sides pushed for an early opener and Grimsby might have taken the lead after five minutes when Rose nodded wide before Dean Campbell blazed over for Barrow at the other end.
Barrow went close through Gerard Garner, but it was their opponents who took the lead shortly before the interval when Rose finished cleverly after team-mate Eisa was thwarted from the penalty spot by Paul Farman.
Kian Spence and substitute Emile Acquah took aim for Barrow after the restart and Grimsby were indebted to goalkeeper Jake Eastwood for preserving their lead when he produced a stunning save to deny Garner from point-blank range.
Wilson came off the bench to put Grimsby 2-0 up after 75 minutes before Foley grabbed a late consolation.
Barrow boss Pete Wild said: “We’ve had enough chances to win three games, and completely dominated the whole contest.
“We limited Grimsby to very little and there were so many major incidents.
“What we can’t fault is our processes, but what we can fault is that we haven’t been good enough in both boxes.
“We had one mistake in one box for the first goal and then we haven’t been ruthless enough with the 20-odd chances we have created to kill the game off.
“Their winner is miles offside and everyone can see that, but that summed the game up for us.
“It was another ridiculous refereeing decision, but when’s that ever going to change?”