Fleetwood performance against Accrington Stanley unacceptable for boss Simon Grayson
Head coach Simon Grayson branded Fleetwood Town's display in Tuesday's 4-1 home hammering by Accrington Stanley in the Papa John's Trophy as unacceptable.
Both sides went into this group decider knowing their place in Saturday's draw for the first knockout round was already assured.
However, a Town side anxious to end a five-match winless run were put to the sword as Stanley ran riot to clinch top spot in the group and a home draw.
Stunning first-half strikes from Harry Pell and Ethan Hamilton put the visitors 2-1 ahead either side of Ged Garner’s penalty for Town.
Second-half efforts from Tommy Leigh and former Blackpool defender Michael Nottingham extended a worrying series of results for Fleetwood, who are in League One's bottom three and now face a 10-day break from match action.
“It was a hugely frustrating night,” groaned Grayson. “In the second half we just weren’t good enough.
“In the first half there’s not much in the game - it’s two fantastic strikes.
“Second half we were a shadow of ourselves. We’ve got to play with more intensity without the ball and win more second balls.
"We needed more urgency but we didn’t have that. We were too soft, we were physically and mentally too soft and the opposition ran all over us.
“They bullied us, hence we got what we deserved.
“It’s not acceptable. We’re a good football club with some good players.
“I said to the players to play themselves into the team for the Morecambe game (a week on Saturday), when we’re back from the international break. If some of them aren’t in it they can have no complaints.
"It wasn’t good enough tonight and it’s not acceptable.”
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here