Joey Barton doesn’t want Fleetwood Town to dwell on their FA Cup defeat to Portsmouth, with another cup game looming this evening.
READ MORE: Barton's quest for reinforcements has begun
Town play host to Accrington Stanley in the Leasing.com Trophy northern quarter-finals (7.45pm), their fourth home game in 10 days.
Barton was disappointed that his side were knocked out of the “best competition in the world’”at the weekend but has encouraged his players to bounce back, with an emphasis on their defensive set-pieces.
“There’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves because we’ve got Accy in a cup game on Tuesday and then Burton away on Saturday,” he said.
“Accy have had a rest at the weekend because they had been knocked out of the cup. They will probably come in fresh. I know they have had a couple of injuries.
“Sean McConville has done his Achilles, which puts him out for the season. That will be a huge loss because he’s a very, very good player but they still have enough quality on the park.
“If we defend corners like we did against Portsmouth, we’ll go out of the EFL Trophy. If we don’t, there’s a good chance we’ll get through. Let’s see what happens.”
The Leasing.com Trophy often sees managers name much- changed teams, with their focus being on league campaigns instead.
Barton has shown this competition plenty of respect in the past but he also had the players to do so. With the Town squad depleted through injuries and recent departures, Barton does still want to field a strong line-up.
“The lads have gone hard for the last period and we’ve picked an unchanged side for the last three games,” he explained. Beyond that we’ve got young lads on the bench, who it’s probably a little bit too soon for.
“We wanted to put our strongest team out in the FA Cup and we didn’t want to go out, but we have to dust ourselves down, decide what we want to do Tuesday night in terms of where the bodies are at and people’s load, and see how they come out of it.
“Then we’ll have a plan to try to win the cup-tie.
“It’s a competition with Wembley at the end of it, and for a club at our level the financial reward is huge, so we’ve got to treat it with the respect it deserves,
“But I can’t have my players pulling hamstrings or groins and getting injured for six or seven weeks because we’ve got loads of games coming up.
“The priority for us was always the league. Our season still has lots to play for.”
This is Town's second meeting with Accrington in the season's competition. Stanley won the group game in east Lancashire 2-1 in September, avenging a 2-0 League One defeat at Highbury nine days earlier. Both games were feisty affairs which saw a player sent off, Stanley's McConville in the league match and Town's Harrison Biggins in the cup-tie.