Blackpool boss Simon Grayson happy to settle for a point at Gillingham

Simon Grayson says he was more than happy to settle for a point after his Blackpool side fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Gillingham.

Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 11:39 pm
Pool boss Simon Grayson
Pool boss Simon Grayson

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Gazette's report from Blackpool's hard-earned 2-2 draw at Gillingham

It looked as though the Seasiders were in for a long night when Gills striker Alex Jakubiak netted a brace in the opening period.

But a quickfire double salvo from Sullay Kaikai and Armand Gnanduillet before the break saw Grayson's men haul themselves back on level terms.

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Pool again came under pressure in the final stages but they held firm to maintain their unbeaten start to move back to the top of the League One table.

“I am proud of my team tonight because we showed a different side to ourselves," Grayson said.

“We started the game on the backfoot and they started brightly and we went 2-0 down, but we showed a lot of characteristics we maybe haven’t seen yet.

“We passed the ball a little bit better after going two goals down but in the last 10 to 15 minutes we were defending in our box again because of the land of the giants they had, which tested us.

“But after being 2-0 down we certainly would have taken a point.

“It wasn’t ideal for any of the supporters to be coming this far down but they turned out in their numbers and hopefully we’ve sent them home in a decent mood.

“It was a good performance with heart, soul and desire mixed in with some decent play at times.

“Their keeper makes a fantastic save from Sullay Kaikai which, at 2-2, could have given us the lead. But they were putting plenty of bodies and balls into the box but we stood firm.

“We warned the players before the game that any Steve Evans side you come up against, you have to be on the front foot.

“You have to battle, you have to match them and scrap and we probably didn’t do that. We didn’t keep the ball like we like, either.

“So we gave ourselves a big mountain to climb but we managed it, we got to grips with the ball and passed it.

“We changed the system and I went to a 4-3-3 which probably helped us along the way, because I was unaware they were going to play a diamond shape which was probably used to combat our three centre backs.

“But the players responded and got a well deserved point.”