Simon Grayson speaks of relief as Blackpool finally get back to winning ways with victory over Southend

Simon Grayson spoke of his relief after his Blackpool side finally got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory against Southend United.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 5:57 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 10:14 am

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Blackpool 2-1 Southend United: Armand Gnanduillet's brace secures long-overdue w...

The Seasiders claimed their first win in 11 thanks to an Armand Gnanduillet brace, the goals coming in either half.

Southend, who are second from bottom in League One having won just three games all season, threatened an unlikely comeback when Stephen McLaughlin powered home a long-range strike.

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Blackpool boss Simon Grayson was relieved to claim a long-overdue league win

But Grayson's men clung onto three points, their first in the league since December 7, to put a halt to their losing run.

“Based on the run we’ve been on recently we wanted to win today no matter how. We’ve done that," Grayson said post-match.

“There are parts of the game where I thought we played really well but when their lad hits a worldie that flies into the top corner you’re thinking ‘are they going to knick one from a long throw or something?’

“Their keeper comes up at the end for the corner in injury time and we were just hoping it wasn’t going to be one of those days again.

“But I’m glad the whistle went and we got the three points to break the run we’ve been on."

Gnanduillet gave Blackpool the lead on 37 minutes, the Frenchman heading home from Liam Feeney's right-wing cross.

The striker then notched his 17th goal of the campaign halfway through the second period to make it 2-0, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot after Nathan Delfouneso had been fouled.

At this point it appeared to be a case of how many goals Blackpool could rack up, but Southend ensured a nervy finish when McLaughlin fired into the top corner.

But the men in tangerine held on for a priceless win to relieve some pressure on Grayson, who was impressed with some of the football his side played.

“You wouldn’t have thought we were a team that’s been on such a bad run because the confidence levels have remained good," he added.

“Over the last few weeks we’ve said we’ve played well at times but made basic mistakes, whereas today I thought we were quite solid defensively.

“You saw the performances of the players we recently brought to the club and that’s the big thing we tried to do in the January transfer window.

“Look at Kiernan Dewbsury-Hall, he’s a great footballer who was linking things with Connor Ronan and then other players are bouncing off them as well.

“There were some good spells where we got the ball into peoples’ feet and got on the half turn. We also got crosses into the box.

“When we went 2-0 up I thought we could go on to get another goal or two, but obviously when their lad scores like he did it puts a different perspective on things.”