Simon Grayson on what sort of test Oxford United will give his Blackpool side

Simon Grayson says Oxford United are likely to pose his Blackpool side the sternest test they've faced so far this season.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 4:02 pm
Pool boss Simon Grayson is expecting a tough test this weekend

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The U's travel to Bloomfield Road this weekend on the back of a win and a draw in their opening two league games.

Karl Robinson's men opened their account for the campaign with a creditable away draw at Sunderland before following that up with a 1-0 win against Peterborough United.

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However Pool are full of confidence themselves have bagged two wins from their opening two fixtures.

“You can’t take any side for granted," Grayson said.

“Karl knows this division and he’s got a group of players that have started the season brightly and have picked up some positive results.

“We will do what we normally do and that’s focus on their weaknesses and try and use our strengths to go and win the football match.

“If we can try and create an atmosphere like we had for the first game of the season and play as well as we have done then we won’t be too far away.

“They will be attack-minded, because Karl has had his teams like that over the years.

“They’ve got some experienced players with Jamie Mackie up front and James Henry in the wide positions and John Mousinho I know from my Preston days.

“They’ve got a mixture of good footballers and grafters as well.

“In terms of where they are in the division and what they do, I’d suppose you’d have to say it is the toughest test so far.

“But I don’t want to be disrespectful to Bristol Rovers and Southend United.

“We had to show a different side to us in that last half an hour at Southend when we went down to 10 men.

“But we know every game we will be involved in will be a tough test.”

Grayson says it's too early to tell if Joe Nuttall and Jay Spearing will recover in time to feature on Saturday.

Nuttall missed out Tuesday night's Carabao Cup tie against Macclesfield Town after suffering a calf strain in training, while Jay Spearing hobbled off towards the end of the match with a shoulder complaint.

Saturday is likely to come too soon for Matty Virtue, who remains sidelined alongside long-term absentee Mark Howard with a thigh injury he suffered at AFC Fylde in pre-season.

James Husband will serve the second match of his three-game suspension.