Curtis Tilt display for Blackpool at Sunderland gives Simon Grayson a big decision for Shrewsbury clash

Blackpool boss Simon Grayson faces a selection dilemma following the draw with Sunderland last weekend.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:00 am
Curtis Tilt attempts an overhead kick at Sunderland

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Disappointment with Sunderland draw shows how far we've come says Grayson

Curtis Tilt replaced him alongside Ryan Edwards in the centre of defence and left Grayson with food for thought ahead of Saturday’s home match with Shrewsbury Town.

“I will have a headache because Ben is available and Curtis put in a performance,” Grayson acknowledged.

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“It’s what you want as a manager.

“There are players that have been left out, players that have done well in training and in games.

“Everybody is fit, so everybody is going to get opportunities over the Christmas period.

“We’ve just got to get everybody prepared and right, and look forward to the busy period that is coming up.

“That’s the options I need and it will be an opportunity for somebody to come into the team.

“It’s part and parcel of your job of trying to keep everybody happy.

“At one stage I’ve got 11 players who like me, seven who think I’m all right and then a few others who don’t like me very much – that’s always been the case.

“Me and my staff play our part talking to the lads and seeing how they are, but it’s also down to the players as well.

“If they start sulking and don’t do what they’re supposed to do in terms of trying their best to get back into the team, then it makes my job a lot easier.

“If you have a good attitude and good professionalism then they’re the sort of characteristics I want within my group.

“So far all the lads have been really good.

“Ben has done really well. He’s been fantastic since he’s come to the football club and he’s replicated a lot of performances that people knew he was capable of doing because of his form last year, where he was a real focal point of the team.”

Having seen Charlie Wyke cancel out Matty Virtue’s early goal, Blackpool could still have gained three points.

Sunderland keeper Jon McLaughlin flapped at a deep cross with the ball eventually falling to James Husband at the back post.

However, the wing-back saw his goal-bound shot strike Armand Gnanduillet on the goalline, with the ball subsequently bouncing wide of the target.

“I don’t know, you’d have to ask the referee (whether it would have stood had it gone in),” Grayson said.

“It was just one of those situations. I don’t think he was impeding the goalkeeper or anything like that, he was just looking for the scraps.

“If it had gone in, I think he probably would have given it but it’s a tough one.

“It’s that bit of luck when you want to get the next goal but unfortunately it’s hit Armand straight on the thigh and gone out.”