Simon Grayson: Blackpool showed quality as well as Reading

Simon Grayson praised his Blackpool side for responding strongly to setbacks at Reading
Simon Grayson praised his Blackpool side for responding strongly to setbacks at Reading
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Simon Grayson praised the grit and determination of his Blackpool side after their improved display against Reading in the FA Cup.

READ MORE Matt Scrafton's verdict: The rough and the smooth of Armand Gnanduillet
The Seasiders were frustrated not to overcome their Championship opponents on Saturday, eventually forced to settle for a 2-2 draw in their third-round encounter.

Pool, who will discover their potential fourth- round opponents tonight, made a slow start to proceedings at the Madejski Stadium but soon grew into the game after Nathan Delfouneso’s opener.

“I think you give Reading credit,” Grayson said.

“Even though they’ve made 11 changes, they’ve still got a lot of quality in their squad and even on the bench.

“They were bringing on people from Chelsea and other clubs and they’ve won four games on the trot, so as a football club they were full of confidence.

“We couldn’t get out because of how well they moved the ball and kept hold of it.

“We probably didn’t keep hold of the ball as well as we would have liked to have done.

“We got the goal against the run of play and then the players grew into it, with the belief and confidence to get a few passes going and try to hurt the opposition. We did that and showed a lot of quality.”

Pool were pegged back by Sam Baldock’s strike at the start of the second half for the Royals and Danny Loader equalised for the second time after Armand Gnanduillet had restored the Seasiders’ lead.

The Pool boss added: “I’ve not really seen their goals back.

“You’re disappointed when you concede goals you maybe think could be saved, but I’m not going to be too critical of Mark (Howard) because I’ve not seen them too much. I’ve only seen the replay on the big screen.

“But once we did suffer the disappointment and conceded the goals, we went straight back at them.

“We didn’t feel sorry for ourselves, we didn’t start to think things would not go our way again as it has done over the last few games.

“They rolled their sleeves up, showed quality and determination to get back into the game very quickly again.”

Pool were eventually left to rue Gnanduillet’s penalty miss at 2-2, the striker striking the crossbar with a chipped ‘Panenka’.

When asked if Pool would be changing penalty takers, Grayson replied:“That’s one to discuss later on.

“The dressing room is frustrated because this was a good opportunity to go through.

“If we had got back in front at 3-2, there wouldn’t have been a lot of time left and I think we would have held out.

“We were constantly defending well but we were really bright on the attack and looked like we might get another goal.

“It’s frustrating it’s cost us the opportunity to get in the next round but it’s probably also cost the players the opportunity to have a day off next weekend when we’re going to be in on the Sunday with the replay on the Tuesday. It’s a double whammy.”

The fourth-round draw is due to begin at around 7.35pm this evening and can be watched live on BBC One.