Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson praises Shrewsbury rival Steve Cotterill and says illness won't keep him quiet

Fleetwood Town boss Simon Grayson has sent his best wishes to Shrewsbury Town counterpart Steve Cotterill – but expects him to be as involved as possible when their sides meet tomorrow.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 8:00 am

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Having had extensive treatment for Covid-19, Cotterill was readmitted to hospital this week with Covid-pneumonia, which leaves Aaron Wilbraham in charge this weekend.

Since taking charge of the Shrews in November, Cotterill has overseen their rise to 17th in League One, one place and two points behind tomorrow’s visitors Fleetwood.

Simon Grayson's Fleetwood Town seek their first back-to-back victories since November at Shrewsbury on Saturday

Grayson said: “It’s a horrible situation and I know Steve well. My thoughts are with him and hopefully he makes a full recovery, whenever that may be.

“The results have picked up since they went in. They’ve played a couple of different systems – three at the back and four at the back.

“It’s no coincidence. Steve is an experienced manager who knows what he’s doing and knows how to set a team up.

“They got a couple of wins early on, which gives them more confidence and belief, and that plays a big part.

“Steve appointed Aaron Wilbraham (as his assistant in December). And knowing Steve, he won’t be off the phone to his coaching staff too often. That’s before the game, during games at half-time and during the second half as well.

“Just because he’s in a hospital bed watching it, I wouldn’t think he’s not in full contact with his staff shouting and bawling, telling them what to do.

“That’s the character he is. He’s a passionate manager.

“I might get someone to ring him so his phone’s engaged and he can’t get through to his staff!

“They’ve worked hard, they’ve had some good results and we’ve just got to respect them.

“They have some talented players we have to be aware of.”

For their part, Grayson’s players go into the game on the back of Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Lincoln City and are now aiming to record consecutive victories for the first time since November.

Grayson added: “You always want to build off your previous performances.

“That was the case with the Accrington game last weekend. We wanted to build from it and take that into Lincoln.

“Now Lincoln’s gone and we have to build on that to keep improving and make strides further forward.

“We’re not happy just setting that standard on Tuesday night – we want to go above it and beyond.”

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