Blackpool's new arrivals up to speed and pushing for starts in FA Cup replay against Reading

Grant Ward will be looking to make his first Blackpool start in the FA Cup replay against Reading tomorrow night
Grant Ward will be looking to make his first Blackpool start in the FA Cup replay against Reading tomorrow night
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Simon Grayson says Blackpool's new signings Grant Ward and Jordan Thorniley are both up to speed and ready for their first starts.

READ MORE: Blackpool close to extending the loan of Sheffield United defender Ben Heneghan until the end of the season

Ward, who arrived on a free transfer at the end of December, made his Pool debut off the bench in the dying stages of their 2-2 FA Cup third round draw at Reading on January 4.

Meanwhile Thorniley, who signed for an undisclosed fee from Sheffield Wednesday on New Year's Day, was left out of the squad despite travelling down to the Madejski Stadium.

Both were said to be lacking match sharpness but, helped by Blackpool's free weekend and 10 days between games, Grayson believes the duo are ready to feature in the Seasiders' replay tomorrow night.

“Both players will be in the 18 on Tuesday night and both players are pushing for starts in the first team," the Pool boss said.

“I’ve got no qualms if I decide to start either of them on Tuesday or Saturday because of what we’ve seen from them in training.

“The players had a few days off after the first Reading game but after that we got some good work into them.

“They would have had an extra day off on the Sunday had we gone through but we were off on Saturday and trained on the Sunday (in preparation for the replay).

“It’s been a mixed bag of rest and recuperation but also getting some work into the players as well.

“It’s been good for the new players to get a feel of what we’re about in terms of time on the grass and understanding what the squad is all about.

“You’d think Jordan Thorniley and Grant Ward have been here a lot longer than they have because they’ve settled in really well."

Fellow new signing Marc Bola, who rejoined the club on loan from Middlesbrough, is not eligible for selection for tomorrow night's game but could feature in the league game at Lincoln City on Saturday.