Blackpool new boys Grant Ward and Jordan Thorniley may only make the bench for Reading FA Cup tie

Blackpool's new signing Grant Ward
Blackpool's new signing Grant Ward
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New signings Jordan Thorniley and Grant Ward are unlikely to be handed their Blackpool debuts from the start of today’s FA Cup tie against Reading.

That’s according to boss Simon Grayson, who says the best the pair can hope for is a spot on the bench.

Both have been short on action in recent weeks and are in need of some work on the training ground.

With a spare weekend coming up, owing to the cancelled Bury game, that gives them the chance to get up to speed.

“They won’t be in line for starting debuts this weekend,” Grayson told The Gazette.

“Jordan hasn’t trained a lot over the Christmas period so the nearest he’ll be is probably the bench.

“As for Grant, he’ll probably be the same.

“He’ll train with us on Thursday and Friday before the game and then we’ve got plenty of time to get some work into them before the Lincoln game.

“The likeliest option for them will be that they’ll be on the bench at best.”

Grayson spoke of his delight at the capture of Thorniley, who arrived at Bloomfield Road on New Year’s Day for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old made 35 appearances at Sheffield Wednesday but is keen to knuckle down and be a regular starter.

“Jordan is a player I’ve watched a lot of,” Grayson said.

“I spoke to a lot of people about him and they all said what a tough character he is, a tough cookie and a real good type.

“I want lads that are going to put their bodies on the line and players that are winners and want to graft and make tackles all over the pitch. I want players with a ruthless streak in them.

“I’m really pleased we’ve managed to get him because we’ve worked extremely hard over the last few weeks to try and make this happen.

“The big thing is the kid wanted to come because he was desperate to play and that’s a good trait to have.”

A left-footed centre-half, Thorniley is also capable of playing at left-back, which gives Pool some extra flexibility.

“He can play both positions, which gives us competition for places,” Grayson said.

“We’ve now got two centre-backs who are left-footed and two that are right-sided. That means we can chop and change and do whatever we need to do.

“We have to have better players at this football club to get to where we want to be and we’ve done that with the two players we’ve brought in already.

“From what I’ve seen of Grant in the two days of training he handles the ball far better than I’ve probably seen from anyone else this year.

“That’s the level of quality we want to bring into the football club to get us where we want to be.”