Simon Grayson hits out at fixture scheduling ahead of Blackpool's mammoth midweek trip to Gillingham

Blackpool make the long trip down to the Priestfield Stadium tomorrow night
Blackpool make the long trip down to the Priestfield Stadium tomorrow night
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Simon Grayson has lashed out at the fixture scheduling that sees his Blackpool side make the gruelling 560-mile round trip to Gillingham on a Tuesday night.

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The Seasiders make the mammoth journey down to Kent looking to make it four wins from four in League One this season.

It is the second season running that Pool have played Gillingham away in midweek, Nathan Delfouneso scoring the only goal at the Priestfield Stadium last November.

The Gills, who enjoyed a free weekend after their game with Bury was postponed, also face a long midweek journey to Bloomfield Road for the return game in February.

That, Grayson says, makes little sense, describing the scheduling as “madness”.

“It’s tough, I don’t know how we’ve ended up going there on a Tuesday and they then come up to us on a Tuesday night,” the Pool boss said.

“It just seems like madness. Not just for us, but also for the supporters to get down there as well.

“Being in the media I’ve obviously done late nights watching games over the last year or so, but I don’t relish coming back at 5am after Gillingham away.

“I just don’t get the reason behind us going there on a Tuesday night, for our supporters and for us as a club.

“When I look at the fixtures they’re coming up here on a Tuesday night as well so it just doesn’t make any sense.

“It’s bad enough coming back from long journeys on a Saturday and that’s for everybody involved with the club, not just the team.

“It just doesn’t make sense but it’s happening and you can’t get away from it.

“We will get the lads recovered from the Oxford game and go again because it will be a tough schedule.

“Hopefully we might have one or two players available again because we were down to the bare bones a little bit on Saturday.”

One of those players Grayson will be keen to see back in the starting line-up is skipper Jay Spearing, who missed out on Saturday with a shoulder complaint.

It’s an injury he suffered towards the end of Blackpool’s midweek Carabao Cup defeat against Macclesfield Town.

However, striker Joe Nuttall and midfielder Matty Virtue also remain doubts.

“For Jay it was just his shoulder from Tuesday night but he was never going to be available for the weekend because of the severity of it,” Grayson added.

“But we will assess him, Joe Nuttall and Matty Virtue.”

The Seasiders are just one of two remaining EFL sides to boast a 100 per cent win record this season, the other being newly-promoted Lincoln City.

It spells the perfect start to the Simon Sadler era but Grayson is refusing to get too carried away.

He said: “We’ve spoken about the need to continue that momentum of the feelgood factor around the place into the games. We’ve done that so far.

“We know we’re not getting ahead of ourselves and we know we won’t get complacent, because football has a way of making you look poor at times.

“But the players will recover and we will go down to Gillingham looking to make it four wins from four.”