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Simon Grayson Wants Blackpool Repeat

11 August 2014

North End’s first win of the 2013/14 season was in the Capital One Cup and he is hoping that’s the case again this season as the Lilywhites head to Rochdale.

The North End boss spoke ahead of the trip to Spotland on Tuesday evening and admitted he was delighted to have a game so close to the opening league encounter.

Having had a gruelling pre-season the gaffer said that the chance to get more minutes in the legs of the squad was important: “When you’ve done all your pre-season work, the last thing the players need is to have weeks without a game; this way they can maintain their fitness levels quickly.

“No team will hit the ground running, we are all still implementing ideas and getting the match sharpness, but this game is a good opportunity for a large bulk of the squad to get more game time under their belts.”

Last season also saw the manager make a number of changes between the opening league game and the win over Blackpool and with a big squad at his disposal he sees no reason that any changes would weaken his team.

“Last year’s result against Blackpool was a significant result for our football club, but Rochdale will be an equally tough task for us,” he continued.

“They had a fantastic season last year with promotion and they’ll be disappointed with their result at the weekend. Like any Club they will be trying to get their first win as soon as possible.

“We know what to expect from them; they are a good footballing team and whilst they’ve lost one of their main assets from last year in Scott Hogan, Keith [Hill] has given the chance to some younger players and we are in for a tough test.”

And with a draw against Shaun Derry’s men on the opening day, a Cup win would create the momentum the manager is looking for.

“We were disappointed not to win the game at the weekend and there are things still to work on, but there were a lot of positive in the game.

“I am not a big one for statistics, but in the first half on Saturday we had 70 per cent of possession and with the number of chances we had, the game should have been all over.

“We passed the ball in the right areas, passed it with a purpose, created good chances and on another day we could have won the game comfortably,” he added.

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