Joey Barton says Ched Evans could be fit for Fleetwood’s final game of the season at Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
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But the striker may have to settle for a place on the bench due to the form of Paddy Madden and Ashley Nadesan.
On-loan Sheffield United forward Evans missed Fleetwood’s 2-1 win over Sunderland due to a thigh “tweak” and saw goals by Madden and Nadesan turn the game around after Town fell behind.
Nadesan was ruled to have got the final touch to Ash Eastham’s goal-bound header to clinch the points at the death after Madden scored his 19th of the campaign, one more than Evans.
Barton explained that Evans sustained the injury when he had a shot against Bristol Rovers last weekend.
The Town boss said: “He could be OK for Saturday but Paddy and Nadders have scored, so he might have to sit himself next to us on the bench!”
Barton says Evans (below) and fellow loanee Harry Souttar, who missed Tuesday’s game with a toe injury after completing his suspension, want to play at Wycombe.
He added: “Chris wants to play, the same as big Soutts, who split his toe open – quite a nasty injury.
“The most pleasing thing for me is that they are desperate to get on the pitch because they know we are building something special.”
The players did a lap of honour after the full-time whistle with Barton, who hailed the fans for drowning out the Black Cats’ contingent and helping his side to victory. He said: “They could sense it. They were brilliant.
“Sunderland had a load of fans but you did not hear them after we scored that first goal because they knew they were hanging on.
“For most of that second period, certainly after we scored, we were the side more likely to win the game.”