Simon Grayson says his Blackpool players must treat today’s Fylde coast clash with Fleetwood Town like any other fixture and not get sucked into the “hype”.
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The sides are only separated in the League One table by goal difference and this will be Grayson’s first encounter with Fleetwood.
A bumper crowd is expected at Bloomfield Road, where Fleetwood have yet to taste victory, and the Pool boss said: “It will be a good game. It’s two teams very close to each other, both geographically and in the league table, which is more important to me than anything else.
“We want to win because it will take us above them and close the gap on teams around us.
There will be some good footballers on show. Both teams will be desperate for the three points and there will be an edge to it because of the closeness of everything involved.
“It should be a great atmosphere and hopefully we’ll come out on top. We have to be focused on what we need to do. We have to play with our heads as well as our hearts and make sure we play how we want to play.
“Whatever we’ve worked on this week, the players have got to implement those ideas – that’s the case whether we’re playing a team just up the road or a team on the south coast.
“I’ve stressed the importance of playing with an edge, winning your individual battles and competing.”
On whether the fixture is being over-hyped, Grayson added: “I think it’s probably you lads in the media who create a lot of the hype!
“There’s no getting away from the fact Preston is the biggest game for Blackpool because of the history and the number of years both clubs have been going.
“But it just shows how far Fleetwood have come. Now we’re in the same division it certainly does create these questions and comments being thrown around.
“I think the significance of the game is more for the supporters. There will be friends who support each team and people will be going into work on Monday with the bragging rights.
“Do I look at anything different with the players? Not really because we have an edge in training every day.
“We have to be competitive on the training pitch, which will take us forward into the games at the weekend. I wouldn’t say there’s any extra spring in the step but the players will certainly be aware of what it means to get another three points.”