Barton has the ball back at his feet

Joey Barton playing for Fleetwood during the pre-season match against SPL side Kilmarnock.
Joey Barton playing for Fleetwood during the pre-season match against SPL side Kilmarnock.

SEEING is believing... It’s Joey Barton in a Fleetwood Town shirt.

He may be banned from soccer for 12 matches, but the controversial midfielder was given dispensation to play for Town in a behind-closed doors friendly at Kilmarnock, which Micky Mellon’s men won 4-0.

And it was mixture of pain and pleasure for Barton, as he reflected on the match against the Scottish League Cup winners.

After 45 minutes of action, Barton, who is training with Fleetwood with permission of his club Queens Park Rangers, admitted he was sore all over, but it was worthwhile.

He confessed: “I feel a bit stiff and the body aches.

“This is only my fifth day of pre-season, and it’s all part of the game none of us really like.

“But it’s a necessary evil, so we as players are ready for the start of the season.”

The former England midfielder added it was good to have a ball back at his feet: “I really enjoyed my 45 minutes, and it’s nice to play with a team who likes to get the ball down and passing.

“It will take me some time to get up to speed, as I’m three or four weeks behind.”

Barton added: “It was a pleasure to be out there.

“Fleetwood can take a lot of positives after enjoying some good passages of play.”

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