Leeds United boss Simon Grayson is hoping he receives a good reception from the Blackpool fans when he comes up against his former club for the first time since leaving them in 2008.
Grayson left Bloomfield Road in December 2008 to join his boyhood club in rather acrimonious circumstances after Blackpool refused Grayson permission to speak to Leeds.
Grayson spent six years at Bloomfield Road, initially as a player before taking over the manager`s post. Speaking in the Blackpool Gazette, Grayson said, “I hope I get a good reception from the Blackpool fans. I`ll be disappointed if I don`t because I spent a lot of time there and put in a lot of effort, both as a player and manager.
“Sometimes in football you do go on to other jobs. It was something I felt I had to do.
“It was disappointing how it worked out because I didn`t want to leave Blackpool in the lurch, and it would have been nice to have left them in a better manner than I did.”
Grayson was appointed Blackpool manager in 2006 after helping the club avoid relegation from League One when he took over from Colin Hendry as caretaker manager during the 2005/06 season.
He went on to lead the club to the Championship in 2007, when winning the League One play off final. He kept the club in the Championship in his first season with the club and they were in 16th position at the time of his departure.
He handed in his resignation to the Blackpool board, allowing him to take up the post as Leeds manager.
Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston was adamant that Leeds illegally appointed Grayson and reported the club to the Football League. Oyston speaking in the Blackpool Gazette at the time said, “The way it happened was wrong and we were left with no alternative but to take the action we did.”
Leeds eventually settled out of court with Blackpool for an undisclosed amount.
The move eventually proved profitable to both clubs. Ian Holloway was named as his successor at Blackpool at the end of the season and he led them to the Premier League in his first season in charge.
Grayson came close to leading Leeds to promotion in the season he joined, eventually losing out in the play offs.
In his first full season, he led Leeds to promotion and he also became the first Leeds manager to lead a Leeds team to victory at Old Trafford in almost 30 years, when Leeds knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup 1-0.
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