Simon Grayson: Blackpool determined to make progress in cups

Simon Grayson says victory in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night is important
Simon Grayson says victory in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night is important
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Simon Grayson insists the EFL Trophy is not a distraction and says his Blackpool side will be doing all they can to win through to the  knockout stages.

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The Seasiders will qualify from their group with victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Under-21s at Bloomfield Road tonight (7.45pm).

The much-maligned competition is seen as an irrelevance by many, with clubs opting to make wholesale changes to their team.

But Grayson is demanding another strong performance to build momentum after Saturday’s thrilling 4-3 win over Peterborough United in League One.

The Pool boss said: “It’s not a distraction – it’s another football match that we want to win.

“I want to get through on Tuesday night and get into the next round, then we will turn our attention to Morecambe in the FA Cup on Saturday.

“Regardless of who plays in what competition, you have to play with the intensity we played with on Saturday. If you do that, you’ve got the signs of a successful football club.

“We won’t get carried away by beating a top side but we’re pleased with how we did on Saturday. We’ll now get ready for Tuesday and the game after that.”

Blackpool got their EFL Trophy campaign off to a perfect start when they thrashed Saturday’s opponents Morecambe 5-1 in their opening group game.

They then headed to Brunton Park to take on the Shrimps’ fellow League Two strugglers Carlisle United, knowing a win would have sent them through.

But the Seasiders produced a hugely underwhelming display, losing 2-1 to leave Grayson furious.

“Let’s hope on Tuesday night you’re not seeing me angry again because that means we’ll have done well and played well,” he added.

“I’m passionate about winning football matches, and we didn’t do enough against Carlisle and got beat.

“We want to progress in that competition and we want to progress in the FA Cup because we want to build momentum.

“We’ve got to make sure that, irrespective of the team we put out, we go and perform and give me a problem to pick a team next week.”