New Blackpool boss Simon Grayson discusses recruitment, thoughts on squad, backroom staff and more

New Blackpool boss Simon Grayson discussed a wide range of topics in an interview with BBC Radio Lancashire this evening.

By Matt Scrafton
Monday, 8th July 2019, 9:56 pm
Grayson has now started his second managerial spell with the Seasiders
Grayson has now started his second managerial spell with the Seasiders

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Speaking from Pool's training camp in Scotland, the 49-year-old revealed two bids have already been tabled for new players.

He also commented on his desire to keep Curtis Tilt and Marc Bola at the club and confirmed new deals have been offered to the pair.

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Grayson also revealed it won't be long until a new assistant manager and goalkeeping coach are confirmed.

Here's what else he had to say:

How did the opportunity come about?

“When I got the call from Simon (Sadler) on Wednesday, it was a great opportunity to go and meet him.

“Once I met him, there was an excitement about the prospect of getting back into football and working for somebody who is passionate about their football club and has big ambitions to make the club successful again.

“I’m not going to say anything bad about Karl Oyston because Karl gave me my first opportunity to be a manager and I’m grateful for that, although that was many years ago now.

“But what has happened over the last few years has been very sad for Blackpool, but ultimately Simon has come in now and he’s got real ambition.

“He was a Blackpool season ticket holder for many, many years and he’s obviously done well in business. He’s now taken this opportunity to try and bring the good days back.

“He will be looking to invest over a number of years in the training ground and things like that.

“Everything I have spoken about he has gone and done. All the staff I’ve spoken to have been really positive, so it’s a new era as such.”

Have you got scope to bring in further players?

“I certainly have, yes.

“That was one thing I spoke to Simon about and I think as it stands a couple of bids are in for players already. There are certainly other players I’m looking at too.

“I didn’t actually realise my phone was working again until the last 48 hours with the number of agents that have been ringing me with players.

“I’m not being disrespectful to the club under the previous owners but it’s not been a club in the past that have looked to attract players with any great money or ambition about it.

“But ultimately now, there are a lot of people ringing saying they have clients who want to come and play for Blackpool.

“They want to see a bright future and be a part of it when in the past that might not have been the case.

“I’m busy looking at many different types of players and looking to put a squad together that is capable of competing at the top end of the division if possible, or in and around it.”

Has a deal broke down for Rangers striker Ryan Hardie?

“After working in the media for the last year I like to get all these scoops but now I’m on the other side, I won’t comment on any speculation.”

What have you made of the squad?

“We had a session on Sunday and we’ve had a double session on Monday up in Scotland and I’ve been really impressed with the players.

“Their attitude has been fantastic and whatever I’ve asked them to do - football work, running work, gym work - they’ve been very good.

“They’re a good, tight-knit group and they’ve got a good spirit about them and I think they were very unlucky last year, when they just fell away from the play-offs.

“I think they have some talented, young players and there’s also some good, experienced players so if I can add to the group with two, three or four more players, that will make us even more competitive.

“It’s alright talking about all that now but you’ve got to win football matches to get things off to a positive start.”

Is it important you keep the likes of Curtis Tilt and Marc Bola?

“Yes, we’re trying to keep hold of the two players and are offering them new deals.

“But, it’s like any football club, every player has a price tag on their head - that’s the same whether you’re at Blackpool or Real Madrid or Barcelona. Everybody is available at some price.

“But we want to keep hold of our assets and add to it to make it an attractive proposition for these lads to stay.”

Is this your biggest challenge?

“No, I think my Sunderland job was the most challenging without a shadow of a doubt.

“I’m excited because I’ve got an owner who is prepared to help me and add things to the training ground and give me all the tools that are required to be successful.

“I don’t think it’s a big challenge because I’m going into a group who I can work with and can add to rather than coming in mid-season where you’re inheriting a group.

“Hopefully I can implement my ideas and if I can I think we’ll be in a strong position.”

How long until you appoint backroom staff?

“I’ll be appointing an assistant manager and a new goalkeeping coach, which should both be announced in the next few days.

“I’ve always had certain people that have been with me, although that’s not to say they’ll be coming with me. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

“But I like having people who I know and trust who also know what makes me tick. Sometimes they can take responsibility away from me to help the club run smoothly.

“Hopefully the ones that come with me will be as passionate as I am to bring success back to this football club again.”

What’s the plan for the Dundee game?

“We’ll have two teams of 45 minutes and Ian Dawes will probably pick the teams, which is fair on him because he knows more about the players.

“It’ll be one for me to watch and analyse them but we had a 11 v 11 game this morning so I’m getting to know the players.

“Tomorrow night I’ll be in a more viewing position before the upcoming pre-season games over the next few weeks and before you know it the season will start again.”

How are you going to beat your achievements from your last spell at the club?

“That’s all in the past, you can never change the history so it’s all about looking forward with a new start.

“I’m a different person to how I was back then and I’d like to think I’m a better manager. I’ve certainly got a lot more games and a lot more experience underneath me.

“It was a fantastic history last time I was here but now it’s about this group of players and trying to create some new heroes for the football club.

“I want new pictures on the wall of certain players and that will be the case with this group of players.”

Would you allow another documentary team to come in at Blackpool?

“It’s not something I wanted to happen in the first place (at Sunderland) but it had already been agreed.

“Not that the documentary did me any harm that much but I just think the privacy of a club and what goes on in the dressing room can make players feel uncomfortable.

“I’ve watched it and it’s a good documentary in terms of what it shows about the club and how troubled times can be, but there is a lot of things in there I wasn’t happy about because of how it was edited.

“But that’s what documentaries are there to do sometimes, to make good guys and make others look like villains, but it won’t be something I will be looking to do at another club in the future.

“It was a good insight to show how a club should be run or shouldn’t be run and showing how passionate supporters are.”