Blackpool boss Simon Grayson does not underestimate the challenge posed by Rochdale

Simon Grayson is under no illusion as to the challenge Blackpool will face at Rochdale
Simon Grayson is under no illusion as to the challenge Blackpool will face at Rochdale
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Simon Grayson has stressed the importance of showing Rochdale the respect they deserve.

Brian Barry-Murphy’s men have enjoyed a good start to the season, suffering a first defeat of the campaign in midweek despite an impressive showing against Sunderland.

While the Seasiders are flying high at the top of League One, Grayson says they can’t take Dale lightly.

“The reports I’ve had back so far are that they’re a very good team,” the Pool boss said.

“They play a lot of attacking football and have a good energy about them.

“They played very well against Sunderland on Tuesday night but lost the game, but hopefully they have an off-day at the weekend.

“We have to match them, we have to match their endeavour and their enthusiasm, defend the box better, be ruthless when we get opportunities and show them the respect they deserve.

“But we’ve also got to focus on our strengths and what we can do to opposition and build on the four games we’ve had so far.”

While Grayson is delighted with Blackpool’s start, which has seen them claim three wins and one draw, the Pool boss insists his side have no time to rest on their laurels.

“It’s never easy but we’re in a good position at this moment in time, but there is a lot of hard work still to be done,” Grayson added.

“The games come thick and fast and we’re still recovering from Tuesday night’s game at Gillingham, but preparation and focus now turns to a really tough game at the weekend.

“We’ve got to be at it against a strong team that are one of the best teams in the division so far, which is what I’ve heard from the reports we’ve had back.

“It’s going well but we’ve got to make sure we improve and do even better.”

Blackpool will assess the fitness of Nathan Delfouneso, Joe Nuttall and Matty Virtue before making a decision on whether to include them in their squad at Spotland.

They are boosted by the return of James Husband, who has served a three-match ban for his red card at Southend United.