Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson says: I've plenty of options for Gillingham but no selection headache

Simon Grayson will consider changing a winning Fleetwood Town side against Gillingham tonight (7.45pm) but insists he doesn’t face a selection dilemma.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 12:30 pm

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After back-to-back away wins over Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town, Fleetwood can look forward to three of their next four League One games at home – and the away match in that sequence takes them just down the road to Blackpool on Saturday.

The busy league schedule could tempt Grayson to rotate his side but the head coach said: “It’s no headache from my position whatsoever because if you are playing well you stay in the team, that’s pretty simple, no matter who is waiting on the bench.”

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Simon Grayson could make changes to freshen up his Fleetwood side for a different king of challenge against Gillingham

Town fielded the same starting XI at Lincoln and Shrewsbury over the past week, with Ged Garner scoring his first league goal in the first of those matches and keeping his place up front alongside Kyle Vassell, who was on target against the Shrews.

It means record goalscorer Paddy Madden had to settle for a place on the bench after recovering from Covid-19.

Grayson said: “We had Sam Finley, Harvey Saunders, Paddy Madden, Janoi Donacien and Harrison Holgate all coming off the bench, five players who can affect the starting XI, so there’s always pressure on players to keep the shirt.

“Ged has been very good and gives a different side to our game. He gets hold of the ball. He was like a few players who were a little bit leggy in the first half (at Shrewsbury) and off the pace I want to play, but he contributed in the second half which is great.”

Vassell scored his second goal in 13 Town outings on Saturday and also impressed his boss, who added: “We passed a little more clinically in the second half, and when we thought Ged was going to shoot, he reversed the pass for Kyle to score, so great vision from Ged and nice for Kyle to get a goal.

“He has worked really hard since he’s been at the club without getting the rewards he deserves, so it was nice he gave us that two-goal cushion. We saw the game out quite comfortably from then on and weren’t under too much pressure apart from set-pieces.”

Grayson wouldn’t rule out changes as games come thick and fast, adding: “We’ll have some tired bodies and we have to see where everyone is. Do we freshen it up? It’s a possibility.”

Not least because Grayson is well aware that Steve Evans’ Gills will present a challenge very unlike that of Lincoln and the Shrews.

Gillingham are targeting a third successive win, having scored three goals against MK Dons and Ipswich Town.

Grayson said: I’m expecting a completely different game against Gillingham to what we had on Saturday. They have had some good results and won at the weekend.

“They are a strong, physical team, who ask questions of you from set-pieces and long throws, and they have players who can hurt you too.

“So it’s a different game but you don’t get two games the same too often, so you rest up but we also hope to build on some good results.”

Those results have certainly helped the mood around Highbury. Before that 2-1 win at Lincoln, Town’s only point in six away games had come from a goalless draw with Wigan Athletic.

“We did what we needed to do at Shrewsbury,” said Grayson. “It’s been a good few days, beating Lincoln as well. You can’t ask for two better results away from home and the performances have been good too.

“We’ve taken seven points in a week, and if we’d scored a penalty against Accrington, it could have been three wins on the bounce.

“But to wake up in a morning after back-to-back wins is certainly a better feeling after the run we’d been on.”

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