Blackpool manager Simon Grayson anticipates a difficult day against Portsmouth
Simon Grayson says he will be delighted if his Blackpool side are still unbeaten at 5pm tomorrow.
The Seasiders, who have won three and drawn two so far in League One, welcome one of the division’s favourites for promotion this weekend in Portsmouth.
While Kenny Jackett’s side have only won one of their opening four league games, they enjoyed a confidence-boosting victory against QPR in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Grayson said: “When I looked at the team it was nearly as strong as they could have played.
“They’ve got some talented players, with John Marquis up front – the leading scorer in the league last year – being brought in for over £1m.
“There are people like Ronan Curtis and experienced players like Paul Downing, so they’ve got a lot of talent.
“They got to the play-offs last season and that takes some doing, while also winning the EFL Trophy.
“They’ve got an experienced manager, who knows what it takes to put sides together to get out of this league.
“But again they will be mindful of what we’re capable of doing. We want to remain unbeaten by 5pm on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a mark of where we are as a team and we’re there to be shot at because we’re still undefeated. Teams will want to become the first to beat us.”
Pompey led the way in League One for much of last season, yet fell away before being beaten by Sunderland in the play-off semi-finals.
Grayson added: “Should Portsmouth have gone up last year? It doesn’t matter, it’s history now.
“It’s about what they’re trying to achieve this season.
“They’ve sent a signal out to the rest of the division with signings like Marquis, so it’s about what they do this season, rather than what was achieved or not achieved the previous one.”
Nathan Delfouneso, who missed last week’s stalemate at Rochdale with a hamstring injury, will be “touch and go” for Saturday’s game according to Grayson. Matty Virtue has made good progress and could feature on the bench.