Fleetwood Town boss hopes to enjoy home comforts against Portsmouth
Simon Grayson is glad to be opening the season on home soil as Fleetwood Town host Portsmouth today (3pm).
Town will be back playing competitive football in front of fans at Highbury, having had their support for the pre-season friendlies against Huddersfield Town and Leeds United.
Grayson is looking forward to hearing the atmosphere generated after experiencing football behind closed doors.
He said: “I think most teams would like to be at home for the first time supporters are back for a league game.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere. Portsmouth are well known for their supporters travelling well and they’re one of the favourites for the division.
“They’ve been in this division for a few years now and they’re desperate to get out of it.
“It’s going to be a cracking atmosphere but we’ve got to play the game and not the occasion as well.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re focused on what you’re doing and what we’ve worked on, respect the opposition, but make sure they don’t come to Highbury and have an easy time.”
Grayson can pick from the vast majority of his squad this afternoon, though there are issues with some players.
Some are further along than others in terms of their respective pre-season schedules, while there have also been a couple of injury setbacks to be taken into account.
Grayson is relishing having to make some tough decisions, especially with younger players putting themselves in contention.
He explained: “Selection is tough, but it will probably be even more tough in a couple more weeks because some of the lads who will be in the squad on Saturday won’t be 100 per cent fit.
“That’s because of a couple of injuries. Anthony Pilkington joined us late, Callum Camps is coming back from his shoulder injury, Ryan Edmondson had Covid, Darnell Johnson has just joined us and Dan Batty has missed a little period of time with a back spasm.
“So there are five players there who probably aren’t going to be where we all want them to be but they’re not a million miles away.
“I know my team now but in a couple of weeks’ time, when everyone is really 100 per cent fit, you have these problems.
“That’s what I want, I want those problems to have – knowing full well that I have some very talented U23s players that are really in the mix of being involved at the weekend and beyond.”
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