Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson faces tricky balancing act at Highbury

Simon Grayson admits he faces a balancing act as he wants his Fleetwood Town side to carry on scoring but also keep goals out.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 8:00 am

Town have been free-scoring in recent weeks, netting 15 times in their last five games.

But they have also conceded 12 in that period and only five teams in League One have leaked more goals than Fleetwood.

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Simon Grayson wants to see Fleetwood maintain their free-scoring, exciting brand of football but also tighten up at the back

While Grayson is focused on tightening up at the back, the Cod Army head coach is also willing to give credit to the opposition.

He said: “We want to get the balance right. We want to be scoring goals and in an ideal world we would like to be keeping clean sheets.

“Sometimes you have to give the opposition credit. We’ve been analysing goals and you look at the goals on Tuesday night (in the 3-3 draw at MK Dons).

“One they bend into the top corner, the second one is a 25-yarder that is a great strike and the third is a fantastic free-kick that comes off the underside of the crossbar. There have been some good goals against us.

“We would like to be better defensively but we’re not making horrible mistakes week in, week out. We’re getting punished by good goals.

“But we know we have to keep improving defensively and offensively as well.

“In an ideal situation, we would like to be 1-0 or 2-0 up, where we can see out the game and don’t have to come from behind all the time.

“Down the line, the opportunity to go in front and stay in front is just around the corner, I firmly believe that.”

Town welcome Charlton Athletic to Highbury this afternoon. The Addicks only just missed out on the play-offs last season but now find themselves second-bottom.

Grayson is surprised to see Nigel Adkins’ side in the relegation zone but says that is typical of the third tier.

He added: “It’s the way the league is, that anybody can beat anybody, and if you don’t hit the ground running it’s difficult sometimes.

“Everyone connected with Charlton Athletic will be frustrated and disappointed. But Nigel will keep having the belief in himself and the players that they are good enough to stop the rot.

“It’s such a tight division that you only have to win back-to-back games and you can be up a lot of places.

Fleetwood’s scheduled fixture at Accrington next Saturday has been postponed due to international call-ups.

Fleetwood’s James Hill is again in the England Under-20 squad, with Barry Baggley, Chris Conn-Clarke, Carl Johnston and Paddy Lane selected for Northern Ireland Under-21s.

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