Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson determined to prove critics wrong at Oxford
Fleetwood Town are out to prove people wrong at Oxford United this evening (7.45pm).
Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Morecambe left the Cod army without a win in seven games and still in the League One relegation places.
Head coach Simon Grayson has the task of picking up a downcast dressing room knowing many won’t give his side a chance at the Kassam, even against a U’s side depleted by Covid.
He said: “We are all desperate to do really well and stop this run of form we’re in. Only hard work will do that, and being brave and positive, which we certainly will be with the players.
“But as you can imagine it’s a pretty downbeat dressing room at the moment.
“The whole world is against us. Everyone will expect us to go to Oxford and get turned over. We’ll go there to prove a few people wrong.
“One or two people are questioning everybody involved in that dressing room and we have to play like we can and turn a negative result into a positive one.”
Fleetwood have been ravaged by injuries, long-term and short, all season and are still low on numbers.
They had the boost of Harrison Holgate returning to the side for the first time since August to face the Shrimps.
However, Anthony Pilkington was sent off late in the game after receiving two yellow cards for dissent.
Grayson said: “Harrison has been out 11 weeks and has only trained on the grass for a couple of weeks, but he got into the mix and I thought he did really, really well, so full credit to him.
“Can he go Saturday-Tuesday? We’ll have to see but the team for Tuesday will be assessed on who is available because we really are down to the bare bones.
“And then Pilks, an experienced player, comes on and two yellow cards for dissent isn’t great. He’s passionate but when he’s booked he has to make sure it doesn’t go any further and lead to what it did, so that’s a massive disappointment to us as well.
“But when you go through a tough time you make sure you don’t bury your head in the sand. You roll your sleeves up, come out with your chest pumping and go again.
“I’ve been involved in football for nearly 35 years and there have been a lot of ups and downs throughout.
“Whenever you’re down you make sure you bounce back and that’s what we’re telling the players.
“We are disappointed but we go down ready for the game on Tuesday.”
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