Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson ready for clash with son Joe Grayson and Barrow in Papa John's Trophy

Tuesday's Papa John’s Trophy game at Barrow will bring family rivalry to the fore for Simon Grayson.

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 8:00 am

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Fleetwood Town's defeat to Charlton Athletic was one match too many for Highbury...

The Fleetwood Town head coach comes up against the team his son Joe plays for.

The Cod Army are looking to stay top of their group, having beaten Leicester City’s Under-21s 4-1 in their opener.

Joe Grayson spent seven years at Blackburn before joining Barrow over the summer

Town have a 10-day break after the 7.45pm tie in Cumbria, with Saturday’s scheduled game at Accrington Stanley postponed.

And after losing to Charlton Athletic at the weekend, Grayson senior is targeting a victory tonight.

He said: “I’m looking forward to Tuesday seeing as my son’s at Barrow and hopefully we’ll get back to winning ways before we have the chance for a breather.

“As it stands now, we come back here (to Highbury) in two weeks for the Crewe Alexandra game.

“I know a lot about Barrow because I watch them every Sunday morning, with my son being up there playing regularly for them.

“They had a good result on Saturday (winning at Mansfield Town) and I probably know more about Barrow than a lot of other people given the number of games I’ve watched recently.

“They are a good team who look to play out from the back under Mark Cooper.”

Grayson junior, 22, joined the League Two club in the summer after seven years at Blackburn Rovers.

Asked about the family rivalry, his dad said: “Yes, if he’s playing. Professionalism comes in from the first kick. I’ll want to beat him and he’ll want to beat me.

“It will be strange for us both but ultimately we’re both winners and in the business of winning football games.

“The only time we’ve come up against each other was in a pre-season friendly, when I was at Blackpool and Joe was at Blackburn, but this is a proper competition.”

Town’s injury issues mean League One regulars may feature tonight in a competition that normally sees rotation. Grayson said: “Some of the lads who played against Charlton, Cambridge and MK Dons may have to play on Tuesday.

“There’s no chance of anybody coming back for Tuesday. I’m not going to risk the one or two who are getting really close, though I expect we’ll have a couple back at the very least for Crewe.

“It’s an opportunity for players who have picked up knocks and niggles to get refreshed ready to face Crewe and hopefully start another sequence of results where we are unbeaten.”

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