Fleetwood Town squad should embrace the challenge of playing Sunderland

Simon Grayson wants Fleetwood Town’s players to relish the challenge of coming up against league leaders Sunderland.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 8:00 am

The Black Cats travel to Highbury today, having won five of six games in League One this season.

They will bring a vocal support with them and Grayson is calling on his side to enjoy the occasion.

He said: “You’ve got to make sure you embrace these games.

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Fleetwood Town head coach Simon Grayson Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

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“Coming to Highbury will be a difficult game for them. They’ll be looking at us and thinking we’re on a good run of form, we’ve got some decent players and whether they fancy coming to Fleetwood.

“You have to respect that Sunderland are probably one of the biggest clubs to have been in this division and, for their liking, have probably been in this division far too long.

“They’re here for a reason, they’re down in the division because of circumstances and haven’t been promoted for other circumstances as well.

“No one has a divine right, whether it is now with Sunderland or in the past with Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Manchester City – big clubs have not got a right to get out of League One.

“You have to earn that right and what they’re doing right now is winning football matches, which is giving them an opportunity.”

Town are now unbeaten in four matches in all competitions after last week’s 4-2 win at Rotherham United.

However, it doesn’t mean Grayson has looked at the standings so far.

He said: “I haven’t even looked at the table yet.

“I said it to my wife the other day and she was saying that I must have done – but I haven’t.

“I know if we’re winning games, we’ll be pushing up the table, and if we’re losing them I’ll know we’ll be in the wrong position that I wouldn’t want us to be.

“I’m not too bothered about where other teams are in the table, it’s about what we do.

“Of course I see the results after every game but I’m not really focused on the table. It’s all about what we’re doing and I know roughly what we’ve got anyway.

“Eventually the table will take up a bit of normality and you’ll find some consistency with results and performances.

“Last week there were some strange results right up and down.

“I’ll focus on the next game, and if someone tells me after winning that we’ve gone up four or five places, then I’ll take that, If we lose I know that we’re not going to be going up the table.”

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