Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson on return to Bloomfield Road: Loads of memories but a lack of atmosphere

Simon Grayson said his return to Bloomfield Road on Saturday revived many fond memories even if the occasion was not quite what you would expect of a Fylde coast derby.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 8:00 am

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The Fleetwood head coach had two stints as Blackpool manager, the first of which included promotion from League One in 2007 although the second ended in the sack after just seven months in February last year.

Saturday’s goalless draw on his first return to Bloomfield Road since then yielded Fleetwood’s first ever league point there, though the lack of atmosphere did affect the occasion for Grayson.

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Simon Grayson made his first return to Bloomfield Road since his second stint as manager there ended in February last year

He said: “It was just like going to an empty stadium. It might have been slightly different with a crowd in and I wish there had been one because it would have been fantastic for everyone to sample a local derby.

“I’ve got good memories of this football club, where I finished my career as a player.

“They gave me my chance in the first place as a manager.

“So it’s a shame we could not come back to a full house because I’d have thought this place would have been rocking from both sets of supporters.”

The last four meetings between the clubs have produced only one goal but both teams had their chances on Saturday, Fleetwood’s best falling to former Seasider Kyle Vassell.

Grayson added: “I think that just summed us up in the top end of the pitch, where it really matters.

“But he did look a handful did Vass and made it tough work for their two centre-backs.

“We didn’t create the number of chances that we have done over the past couple of weeks.”

It was the first time in five games the Cod Army had failed to find the net, having put their goalscoring problems from earlier in the year behind them with three successive wins going into Saturday’s clash.

“When we got into that area did we have the cleverness and the guile to ask a lot of questions? Probably not – not like we have done over the past couple of weeks,” added Grayson, who was quick to take the positives from the game.

“You speak in the dressing room afterwards and it’s 10 points from a possible 12 from four tough games, three of them away and with three clean sheets. You’ve got to be pleased with that.

“So we pick up the point and we get ready now for another game against Ipswich on Tuesday night.”

Ipswich now occupy the final play-off position with 54 points. Fleetwood are seven points behind in 14th from two games more.

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