Blackpool boss Simon Grayson praises his players following FA Cup win over Maidstone United

Simon Grayson was happy with the manner in which his Blackpool players made the required changes to avoid an FA Cup upset and put their name in the hat for the third round.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 6:00 am
Blackpool boss Simon Grayson was pleased with the way his players progressed into the FA Cup third round on Sunday

The Seasiders were booed off at half-time yesterday as they trailed 1-0 to National League South side Maidstone United.

But three quickfire goals in just five minutes at the start of the second half saw Pool complete an impressive turnaround.

Grayson’s men will now discover their third round opponents tonight when the draw, which includes Premier League and Championship sides, is made at 7pm.

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“We had to make sure we were professional with our approach and do whatever was required to be in the hat,” Grayson said after yesterday’s win.

“We knew they would give everything to play at the Emirates, at the Etihad, at Old Trafford or anything like that. Whatever they threw at us we had to match.

“First half was a frustrating half really as we didn’t move the ball quick enough and we were too slow and pedestrian in our build-up play.

“That allowed them to get in their shape and then their lad (Saidou Khan) goes and scores a worldie, which puts us under a little bit of pressure.

“We had to start the second half brightly and we had to be more positive as I said to the players at half-time.

“Too many were taking the safe option and taking a touch backwards rather than take it on the back foot and pass forward.

“The pitch isn’t easy at this moment in time but we had to be more positive, just as we have been for the past month, five weeks or so, where we’ve played really well.

“We decided to change the shape at half-time to a 4-4-2 to ask a few more questions of them and it was nice to get those quickfire goals.”

While Pool’s equaliser came via a George Elokobi own goal, Delfouneso scored two in as many minutes to put breathing space between the two sides.

“The first goal had a few ricochets with the own goal, but we then got after them and were a lot more positive in how we put pressure on them,” Grayson added.

“When you do that against teams from the lower divisions they’re going to make mistakes and that proved to be the case for Delf’s first and second.

“The second one was a good finish because he’s done the hard work and just waited for the ball to come down and it’s a good finish to give us that luxury of the third goal.

“We still should have been a bit more positive to get that fourth goal to really kill the game off but I thought we were a little lackadaisical at times.

“Going into the last few minutes they only needed to score and it becomes 3-2 and it would be a bit nervy.

“But we managed to see the game out and we’ve done what we needed to do.”