Simon Grayson insists that Blackpool’s unbeaten start to the season has given the team a platform to build on for the remainder of the campaign.
The manager, speaking ahead of Saturday’s match against Coventry City, revealed that an unbeaten run, like the six-game one the Seasiders currently find themselves on, was exactly what he asked of his players at the start of August.
“When we started the season, I just said to the players that I want to be unbeaten for as long as we can be and be hard to beat. We needed to give ourselves a chance to be competitive in every game,” Grayson said.
“If we lose games, it won’t be through a lack of determination, attitude or character. All those characteristics have come through so far, which have probably helped us to be where we are in our league position at this time.
“We’ve got to keep working towards it and standards certainly won’t be let slip by myself and the players. You never know what’s round the corner in any particular performance, but it’s a good starting point for us.”
The game against the Coventry this weekend sees two unbeaten records go head-to-head, though home advantage for the Sky Blues comes at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s stadium this season.
“That was never going to be easy for them, and you do feel a lot of sympathy for the supporters, not being at their own football club,” the manager admitted. “They’ve had off the field issues and gone through a lot of turmoil in the last few years.
“But I know Mark (Robins) really well – I played with him at Leicester – and he’s been a good manager over the years. He’s got a young, energetic team that will look to cause us problems if we allow them to.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for the opposition and we must keep working out what we need to do to improve us, and also their strengths that we need to nullify.”
From a selection point of view, the manager has been boosted by the midweek displays of several players, plus the return of a certain forward.
“All the players are available. Nathan Delfouneso has trained and made good progress with the physio earlier this week. If everything goes to plan and everybody comes through today, then the only two lads we’ll have unavailable are the two lads on international duty.”