Fleetwood Town boss Simon Grayson views Carabao Cup tie at Stoke City as opportunity for game time and progress

Simon Grayson is looking for a solid performance from Fleetwood Town as they visit Stoke City in the Carabao Cup first round this evening (7.45pm).

Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 8:00 am

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A competition often deemed less important by the higher-profile clubs, Grayson wants to see his side progress.

Last season, Town made history by reaching the third round for the first time, earning a match against Everton at Highbury.

Simon Grayson says the Fleetwood bench against Portsmouth was the strongest he has so far been able to select

Tonight sees them travel to face a Championship side who won 3-2 at Reading on the opening day of the season, while Town lost 1-0 at home to Portsmouth.

There were positives to take from the game, however, with Grayson impressed by the squad depth he has at his disposal, which may come in useful tonight.

Grayson said of the cup test: “It’s a competition we want to try and progress in.

“They are a Championship team, so we go there as underdogs.

“We’ll see what team they put out and what team I decide on, and we’ll try and build on Saturday’s performance.

“I’ve told the players they will play worse than that and win games this season.

“Tuesday comes round fast and we have players we are getting more game time into.

“We saw Dan Batty and Anthony Pilkington get more game time on Saturday, Ryan Edmondson as well.

“Our bench on Saturday was probably the strongest I’ve had since I’ve been at this football club, so that’s positive, and some of them will get game time on Tuesday.”

Despite making eight signings so far this summer, Town’s head coach is still looking to get a couple more players through the door at Highbury.

He wants to make the right additions, though, and is keen not to rush into deals.

Loans and permanent deals are both possibilities despite an EFL transfer embargo.

Grayson said: “I think we still have one or two slots available where we can add to the squad and we’re actively looking at that.

“I’ve spoken to a few people recently and we’re waiting for the right ones.

“I’ve had calls and calls, as everyone in football has, but we know which areas we would like to strengthen and we’ll wait for the right opportunity to do that.

“There are plenty of players who are still out of contract that you can get on a free transfer. There is the loan market as well but you’ve just got to get the right ones in whichever way.”

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