Blackpool’s squad is being stretched through injuries and internationals according to Simon Grayson

Sullay Kaikai has been an absentee in recent weeks
Sullay Kaikai has been an absentee in recent weeks
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Simon Grayson has conceded his Blackpool squad is becoming increasingly stretched.

The Seasiders had to do without four key attacking players in Monday night’s goalless draw against Bolton Wanderers.

Nathan Delfouneso, Sullay Kaikai and Joe Nuttall all missed out through injury while Jordan Thompson was also absent due to his international call-up.

The midfielder will again be missing for today’s game against Rotherham United, as will team-mate Rocky Bushiri who is away with Belgium’s Under-21 side.

When asked if his squad will be stretched for the game against the Millers, Grayson told The Gazette: “I would say so.

“Phil Horner (the physio) has been very busy looking after the injured lads, but it happens in football.

“We would have coped with it had the injuries been spread across the defence, midfield and maybe a striker.

“But when they’re all in the attacking third it does hit you and people have got to realise that.”

He added: “Take four or five players out of a team and you’ll miss them, irrespective of whether you’re in League One, the Championship or the Premier League.

“But it’s highlighted even more at League One level because you can’t carry the same strength in depth of the top clubs.

“But we’ve just got to get through this period of time, and if we do that with some good results, then we won’t be too far away.”

Pool’s mounting injuries are especially frustrating as they come at a time when players are also being taken away on international duty.

As a result, the Blackpool boss has questioned whether sides in the third tier should have games cancelled as those in the divisions above do.

“I think it’s a reflection on us as a football club and others in League One and League Two that we have players who are capable of playing at an international level,” Grayson added.

“Maybe they should look at the rules and decide we can call games off because it is a bit of an unfair advantage. But that’s for other people to decide on.

“But on the other side of it we had Rocky who asked for permission to stay behind on Monday because Belgium weren’t playing until the following week, so he was happy to stay with the squad.

“Of course League One and League Two teams suffer and when you have these international breaks they decide to throw in more games with the EFL Trophy fixtures as well, which doesn’t help.”