Simon Grayson relishes return to normality and tough pre-season with Fleetwood

Simon Grayson vows that normal service will be resumed this pre-season as he prepares to welcome his Fleetwood Town players back to training this week.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 8:00 am

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The 51-year-old is in his first summer as Fleetwood boss, having taken over at the end of January.

It was a turbulent season for Town, preceded by a curtailed 2019/20 campaign and delayed promotion play-offs in July.

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Simon Grayson says a testing pre-season programme is just how he likes it

Grayson feels that hampered preparations for last season but insists that isn’t the case this time around, with ample rest for his squad to prepare themselves for 2021/22.

The head coach said: “I think it had a knock on effect on last season because we were in the play-offs and then didn’t have much time off.

“I think it affected some of the players last season. We haven’t really changed what we would have done over a normal off-season.

“They’ve had the time off to refresh their bodies, physically as well as mentally, but I think last season had more of an effect on our team because of how the previous season overlapped and was interrupted.

“Hopefully it will be a more normal season.

“When we came in we played with a decent tempo and didn’t have too many injuries, but you saw the effect it had on other clubs and the schedule they had.

“You’re always going to have players getting injuries. Whether they’ve played 20 games or 100 games, there are always going to be injury situations.

“It would be nice to have a normal season where you play Saturday, Tuesday then have a little break and you’re not just doing it constantly for three or four months.”

The Cod Army are back at Poolfoot from Wednesday this week before their pre-season friendlies begin.

There is a mix of pre-season opposition for Grayson’s men, including Premier League, Championship and cup-winning sides.

He said: “I think we’ve got a good pre-season planned. I’ve always liked having a tough pre-season.

“You can’t finish much tougher than Leeds United (July 30). I was really pleased when I was speaking to Leeds that they agreed to do it.

“Huddersfield on the Tuesday (July 27) is another good test against a Championship team and before that we’re in Scotland for a week, finishing with a game against St Johnstone (July 24), who have just won two cups. That’s going to be really tough for us but that’s what we want.

“We want to be tested. We want to see how we’re going to be hard to play against.

“But also, we want to be good in possession of the ball and see how we can hurt other teams as well.

“I’m not sure in the Leeds game that we’ll see plenty of the ball but we’ll certainly get plenty of fitness work out of it!”

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