Fleetwood Town boss wants an improvement in front of goal after defeat to Portsmouth

Simon Grayson stressed his Fleetwood Town side have to discover their ruthless streak after defeat against Portsmouth on the opening day of the season.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 8:00 am

The Cod Army failed to take their chances as Lee Brown’s second-half strike separated the two sides at Highbury.

“I’m definitely disappointed,” Grayson said.

“In the first game of the season you want your team to play well, you want your team to be on the front foot and you want to put on a good show and, ultimately, go on to win the match.

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Simon Grayson saw his Fleetwood Town team beaten at the weekend Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

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“We did a lot of those things but we didn’t win the match, that’s the biggest disappointment.

“We came in at half-time and could have been two or three goals up at least.

“I thought we played really well, with an energy about us, some good play and worked their goalkeeper but we weren’t ruthless enough.

“We worked the keeper, but he wasn’t having to make amazing saves.

“You have to take those chances when you’re on top because it can come back to bite you and that’s how it panned out, unfortunately.

“We dominated the first half, to the point they matched us up in the second half. So we’re all disappointed but we’ll play worse than that and win games this season.

“I was happy with how we restricted them. They hit the bar from a free-kick, they had their goal and Alex (Cairns) made a save in the second half but, other than that, we weren’t tested that much.

“I was really pleased with the organisation and the structure of the team.

“They didn’t really look like troubling us in the first half, so much so that they altered their shape.

“The goal was a bit disappointing from our respect because it was from a tight angle and you don’t allow teams to score from those types of angles.”

The departures of Ched Evans, Paddy Madden and Barrie McKay from last season’s squad meant Town’s attack had a more inexperienced look on Saturday.

Ged Garner made just his 13th league start, it was a sixth league outing for Shayden Morris, while West Bromwich Albion loanee Callum Morton made his debut – but Grayson was impressed with what he saw from the trio.

“In the first half especially, our front players were exceptional, getting into pockets and linking up,” he said.

“I thought Ged and Callum linked up really well and they showed what good footballers they are and what they can do for this football club.

“I think they’ll all be disappointed not to get on the scoresheet because their performances, especially in the first half, warranted that.

“Shayden’s a really exciting talent. He’s positive, he’s had a really good pre-season.

“He’s been exceptional and he just wants to get at people. He still needs to improve his end product at times, but that comes with experience and working, which we will certainly do with him.

“That natural pace, defenders are scared of, and he showed today what he’s been doing so well in pre-season.”

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