Simon Grayson wary of sounding like a 'broken record' after questioning Blackpool's quality once again following FA Cup defeat to Reading

Pool boss Simon Grayson
Pool boss Simon Grayson
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Simon Grayson admits he's beginning to sound like a broken record after questioning the quality and decision-making from his Blackpool players in last night's FA Cup defeat to Reading.

READ MORE: The Gazette's match report from Blackpool's abject FA Cup third round replay defeat to Reading

A weakened Royals side dumped the Seasiders out of the competition at the third round stage with a 2-0 defeat, goals coming in either half from Lucas Boye and Jordan Obita.

Pool, who are now without a win in seven, spurned several chances but in truth the scoreline could have been much heavier - Reading hitting the woodwork on three occasions.

The men in tangerine were slow and predictable in their build-up and often looked devoid of ideas in the final third - a criticism that has been levelled at the Seasiders on several occasions this season.

“In spells we did okay and their keeper has made two or three good saves," Grayson said afterwards.

“But I think I’m beginning to sound like a broken record at times because I can’t fault the players and their workrate and attitude, but it’s just the quality.

“When we’re under pressure we give it away too cheaply and we make the wrong decisions and if you give the ball away to good Championship players they are going to punish you.

“We didn’t get punished too much but we were the architects of our own downfall for the goals we conceded.

“We’ve got to do better with the ball because too many times we gave it away too easily and not showing enough care or pride with the ball.

“Once we start giving the ball away that gives the opportunity for the opposition to hurt us."

Reading edged ahead just before the interval when Boye stabbed home after Jay Spearing had failed to clear his lines at the near post.

The Seasiders rallied at the start of the second period but spurned chances to level before being punished with eight minutes remaining when Obita added that all-important second goal.

Grayson added: “We had a chance to equalise at the start of the second half when Matty Virtue went close with a header and the keeper makes a good save and it’s those fine margins.

“In the first half Mark Howard hasn’t had too many saves to make and we did alright, but we’ve got to pay more attention to retention of the ball.

“It’s not tactics or systems or anything like that, it’s having a pride and a care in keeping hold of that ball and making sure it goes from a tangerine shirt to another one.

“If you do that it gives you a better opportunity of sustaining pressure.

“Every time we got the ball we were trying to score as quickly as possible but that doesn’t always happen, not even within the best teams in the world.

“You’ve got to break quickly sometimes but you’ve also got to put the brakes on, make a proper decision and sometimes go back out the other side.

“When we passed the ball and made better decisions we looked a better side than when we didn’t.

“It’s about doing the basics and that’s not down to tactics or systems, it’s down to the personnel who are on the pitch at the time.”

Reading, who made all 11 changes to their side for this replay, remained a constant threat in attack and had chances themselves to make life more comfortable.

“They hit the post and the bar in the last 15 minutes of the game when it was open and the game was stretched when we were trying to get back in the game," Grayson said.

“They’ve got pace and power and technically some of them are really good players. We knew that.

“We thought we could hurt them a little bit coming up against the young back four they had but in the front six they’ve got some good players who handle the ball really well, so we had to deal with them.

“It’s an example to our players about how keeping the ball can give you opportunities to win football matches.

“We’ve said this many times over the last few weeks and even when we’ve won games this season we’re still saying it.

“We’ve not passed the ball as well as we wanted to and we haven’t had enough controlled possession to dominate games that we need to do.”