Simon Grayson calls on Blackpool to learn from their Sunderland stalemate

Simon Grayson believes last weekend’s draw at Sunderland can be a valuable lesson for his Blackpool players.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:00 am
Blackpool and Sunderland drew last weekend

The Seasiders took a point at the Stadium of Light seven days ago from a game where they felt disappointed at failing to win.

Matty Virtue’s early goal was cancelled out by Charlie Wyke for a Sunderland side who played the last quarter of an hour with 10 men after George Dobson’s red card.

“I’m pretty sure, at the start of the season, we’d have settled for a point up there,” Grayson said.

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“When you reflect on the game, I never thought we were going to get beaten; it was one of those games where we defended quite well.

“I thought we controlled the game well, the only disappointment is when we went 1-0 up so early, we didn’t go for the jugular.

“We were comfortable but comfortable doesn’t win you games and it would have been nice to have got the second goal.

“We didn’t ask enough questions of the home players but it’s something to learn next time we go to a big stadium or play the latter periods against 10 men.”

After being on their travels last weekend, Pool return to Bloomfield Road today for the first of back-to-back home games as they approach the halfway point of their season.

Shrewsbury Town are today’s visitors, followed by the visit of Accrington Stanley on Boxing Day.

With Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United to come over the Christmas and New Year period, a good haul of points could set up the Seasiders for a successful second half of the season.

They go into the Christmas period fifth in League One, only three points behind Ipswich Town sitting in the second automatic promotion place.

However, the close-knit nature of the division means that Pool are only six points clear of Sunderland in 12th position despite their recent struggles.

Grayson said: “It’s a situation where we know, if we get some good points, it can set you up for a real push in January and the rest of the season – but I don’t think it’s going to make, break or define our season.

“I think it’s not the be all and end all, we want to win as many games as possible whenever we play them.

“It’s in a short space of time but if we want to give ourselves a platform for the second half of the season, we have to remain within touching distance of the play-offs.”