Head Coach Simon Grayson spoke to the press after his side lost 2-1 to Stoke City in the first round of the Carabao Cup at the bet365 Stadium on Tuesday night.
Even though a late James Chester goal gave the Cods some hope in the cup tie, a goal on the brink of half-time from Sam Surridge and a second added by former-Cod Harry Souttar sealed the home side’s place in the draw for the next round.
Here’s what Sion had to say after the game:
On the game…
“They are a good team and a big football club who have just spent £5 million on a player who played against us tonight. There wasn’t much in it in the first half as both (Alex) Cairns and their goalkeeper didn’t have to make too many saves.
“Our shape was good, and we limited them to few opportunities, but then on the brink of half-time, we make a few mistakes and before you know it, you’re one-nil down, which affected the players a little bit.
“The dressing room was affected after the late goal in the first half as we had done well until then. The opportunities they had were few and far between, but we had to make sure that we kept our shape as they have good players who can really hurt you if you’re too open and allow them chances.
“They got the second midway through the second half and if you’ve got a player as tall as Harry Souttar, who Fleetwood fans know all about, it rocked us again, but we showed good character, hung in there, and tried to get something out the game."
On the team selection…
“You look at the bench we had at the weekend and a lot of those lads played a big part for the team last season, Anthony Pilkington has come into the club with experience so the changes that were made from the weekend helped us put out a different type of team to play.
“A focus from the game is that players got 90 minutes, of which four of those have had time off with Covid so that is a positive. It was good to see players like (Callum) Camps and (Dan) Batty getting some game time tonight.
“I wanted to make sure to rest players like Shayden Morris and Callum Morton, who are vulnerable to being exposed to too much game time too quickly, so we made a decision to change it up and I feel the players did well enough. They’ve 90 minutes under their belts and all will learn from their experiences tonight.”