Simon Grayson: Blackpool made it too easy for Shrewsbury

Blackpool complain over the penalty award but referee Seb Stockbridge wasn't going to change his mind
Blackpool complain over the penalty award but referee Seb Stockbridge wasn't going to change his mind
Share this article

Simon Grayson felt his Blackpool side “played into the hands” of Shrewsbury Town in their frustrating defeat on Saturday.

READ MORE Matt Scrafton's verdict: Shrewsbury the Grinch that stole Christmas ... and the points
The Seasiders saw their seven-game unbeaten run in League One come to an end after Fejiri Okenabirhie’s second-half penalty condemned them to a narrow 1-0 defeat.

Sam Ricketts’ side boast one of the best defensive records in the third tier, having conceded just 20 goals from the same number of games.

And Grayson felt once his side went a goal down 10 minutes into the second period they didn’t do enough to trouble their well-organised opponents.

The Pool boss said: “We knew it was going to be difficult to get back into it if we were to go a goal down because they’ve not conceded too many goals.

“They get their back five in there and they try to hit you on the counter-attack.

“The biggest disappointment I have is that we played into their hands.

“We changed our system and went to three at the back, and we got Sullay (Kaikai) and Joe (Nuttall) on.

“We went two up front but we took the easy option too many times. We hit too many long balls which their three centre-backs, at 6ft 2ins-plus, were more than capable of dealing with.

“That was something we ought to have done better. We had to get the ball out wide to the wing-backs and keep passing it in the midfield areas as well.

“We didn’t do that and too many players took the easy option of going too long, too early and playing into their hands.

“We didn’t pass the ball well enough and we didn’t ask enough questions.

“It’s fine margins in football matches and things just go past the post from set-pieces, and the odd shot here and there.

“In the first half I was really pleased. It was just in the second half that we’ve not done enough to get something out of the game.”

Pool have dropped out of the League One play-off zone for Christmas despite a storming start on Saturday.

They raced out of the blocks but were unable to capitalise on their period of dominance and the game soon became a slog.

Grayson added: “We’ve always been like that to try to get on the front foot.

“I thought we played some good stuff. We passed it into feet, got runners and we had movement from Nathan (Delfouneso), Liam (Feeney) and Armand (Gnanduillet).

“It wasn’t a case of one playing on the left, one playing on the right and the other down the middle.

“We had good combination play and we got into some good areas.

“It was just one of those games where we couldn’t quite get the breaks.

“We didn’t work the keeper enough, which is something we knew at the start of the week we’d have to do because we watched a lot of videos.

“I can’t fault the players. It was more the last 20 minutes or so where we became a bit too predictable.”