Blackpool boss Simon Grayson gets set to rest and rotate his squad

Armand Gnanduillet has been recalled to the starting line-up in recent weeks
Armand Gnanduillet has been recalled to the starting line-up in recent weeks
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Simon Grayson admits he’ll have to make full use of his Blackpool squad in the coming weeks over the busy festive period.

The Pool boss has named a largely unchanged side for many of the Seasiders’ recent games, with the only alteration being the recent return of top scorer Armand Gnanduillet in place of Joe Nuttall.

But with six games in three weeks, Grayson knows he’s going to have to be a bit more flexible to keep his players fresh and ready.

“It was something we mentioned in the team meeting before the Fleetwood game in that we now go into a run of games, in the next three weeks or so, where fixtures are going to come thick and fast,” the Pool boss said.

“If you can have a good spell points-wise, it can set you up for the second half of the season.

“We did the job against Fleetwood last week and now we focus on the game next weekend against Sunderland.

“The Fleetwood win was an important win for everybody because of how close we are in the table.”

Grayson, who was sacked by Sunderland in 2017 after just 17 games in charge, will return to the Stadium of Light for the first time since his exit this weekend.

He added: “It will be nice to have another three points this time next week regardless of who we’re playing.

“It’s going to be a busy period coming up, but as you can imagine, the players were buoyant in the changing room after the Fleetwood game.

“We’re not going to be complacent or anything because it’s a tough run of games and we have to have players fit and available who haven’t been playing much.

“Some of them played against Fleetwood in the reserve game because we’re going to need everybody over the next three weeks with so many games coming up.”

Sunderland, Grayson’s former club, sit in 11th place in the League One table, five points adrift of the play-offs.

Pressure continues to grow on manager Phil Parkinson, who has lost eight of his 12 games in charge.