Simon Grayson: Two-hour friendly gave chance for all Fleetwood players to stake a claim

Fleetwood Town secured their second win of pre-season yesterday but Simon Grayson’s focus was not on the result.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 8:17 am

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Fleetwood Town defeat Port Vale in pre-season friendly with a difference

The game ran for 120 minutes, played in four quarters of half an hour.

Two Town XIs played 60 minutes each, which was Grayson’s (right) idea.

Simon Grayson gets his message across during the friendly against Port Vale at Poolfoot Farm

He told the Gazette: “Winning football matches is a good habit to get into but this isn’t about the result – it’s about the fitness levels in the players.

“It was warm and they all got 60 minutes, which is good, against a strong Port Vale team.

“I was pleased with the opposition and overall it was a progression from our last game (a 2-0 win at non-league Radcliffe). Saturday’s game at Rochdale will be further progression in our preparation.

“Four quarters gave us an opportunity to get more minutes into their legs. Normally you’re changing people around after maybe 75 minute but this allowed us to get 60 minutes for players.

“I was pleased that Port Vale agreed to that because that benefited their players as well.

“Overall it was a good training exercise for us and it was a good win.”

It’s all up for grabs for the Cod Army players this pre-season as Grayson admits he does not yet know his starting XI for the opening League One game against Portsmouth.

All the players have an opportunity to stake their claim, as the head coach explained.

“I said at the start of preseason that whether you’re an 18-year-old with no games or a 35-year-old with 500 games under your belt, do as much as you can in pre-season to give me the problem of who I’m going to pick.

“I’ve got no idea of what the team is going to be.

“Players will play their way into the team or out of it on performances,”

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