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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Armfield understands Grayson exit

Simon Grayson
Grayson played more than 100 games for Blackpool before his spell as boss

Blackpool legend Jimmy Armfield is sad to see the departure of manager Simon Grayson but understand his reasons for taking charge at Leeds United.

Grayson became Leeds boss on Tuesday after three years as Blackpool manager.

Armfield told BBC Radio Lancashire: "I'm sorry because he's a very good manager. He worked hard and did well.

"But Simon is going for two reasons. One is that he has an affinity with Leeds and the other is that he lives 25 minutes away from their ground."

Ripon-born Grayson, 39, began his career as a trainee at Elland Road but only made two senior appearances for the club.

Blackpool are considering legal action over Grayson's exit but Armfield, who made over 550 appearances for the Seasiders from 1954 to 1971 and later managed Leeds, is more concerned about who his successor might be.

The 73-year-old former England star is confident that the club will cope until a replacement is found and feels there are plenty of good managers available.

"Assistant manager Tony Parkes has been around and there's Steve Thompson as well," Armfield added. "Both of them have been with Simon day in and day out, so it may be left to them to handle the situation until somebody is appointed.

"There are people like Billy Davies and Adie Boothroyd out of work. There's always managers looking for jobs."

Armfield hopes whoever does take charge can build on Grayson's good work; he steered Blackpool to promotion from League One in 2007 and they currently lie 16th in the Championship.

"Let's be honest, it's not an affluent area. They're doing very well for what there is and I still think there's potential here," he explained.

"I hope they get somebody who'll freshen things up a bit and have one or two ideas of his own."

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