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Grayson: It’s a magical trophy and there’s a lot at stake

5 November 2021

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Head Coach Simon Grayson spoke to the local media ahead of his side’s Emirates FA Cup First Round tie against Burton Albion on Saturday.

The Cods will be looking to get back to winning ways at the weekend as they narrowly lost out to Wigan in their last outing on Tuesday, losing 3-2 at Highbury in the league, and will be looking to avenge Burton who the club met just a couple of weeks back.

Here’s what the Gaffer said in his pre-match interview:

On Town’s cup tie against Burton…

“You always want to go through to the Second Round of the cup because it’s a magical trophy and there’s a lot at stake. The nature of the competition is that it’s seen worldwide, has money involved, and if you can get to the Third round, you never know where it’s going to take you.

“I’m glad we’ve got a game this weekend as we could have been going into the international break without one and we may stew on a few things, but with the Burton game coming so soon, we can get back on the grass quickly and put right what went wrong on Tuesday night with an FA Cup tie.

“We did a team presentation this morning and it was basically a replica of what we showed when we faced them a couple of weeks back at Highbury. We want to get back to winning ways and as they beat us the last time we met, it gives a little more incentive but more importantly, we want to avenge the result from Tuesday against Wigan.”

On James Hill’s England Under-21 call-up…

“It’s what dreams are made of! He deserves everything he does as, since the first day I came into the football club, he wasn’t in the first team and had made a few mistakes just before I arrived, but he has been a joy to work with. He asks questions, wants to learn, watches things, and wants to improve.

“This dramatic rise has been brilliant for him and his family, but as well for the football club. To be a Category 3 club and to look at the names in the squad he’s been called up to, they are all from Premier League clubs like Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, etc.

“He’s earned the right to be there, and that is what’s great about giving young players opportunities in the EFL because they can go and get a career and make it for themselves. He’s had three appearances for the Under-20s and is now in the Under-21s. It doesn’t matter if he plays for Chelsea or Fleetwood Town, he’s got the position because he’s a good player and has impressed people at England.”

On fine margins this season…

“We’ve got to be positive in our approach, as we have been in every game, and I sound like a broken record saying that we aren’t a million miles away as it’s just fine margins - we have been competitive in every game. We’ve just got to take the positives from every game and learn from the mistakes that were made and that’s what we’ll do.

“Every game that we’ve been in, in terms of league defeats, has been by one goal, and we’ve realised we’ve lost once in our six games against the top seven, we’ve played 10 of the top eleven, and we haven’t lost a game by more than one goal – that tells you we aren’t far away.”

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