Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton accuses Accrington Stanley of 'disrespect'

Joey Barton was not only unhappy with Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt’s comments ahead of Saturday’s game – the Fleetwood boss also viewed Stanley’s preparations for the match as “disrespectful”.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 8:30 am
Joey Barton took issue with Accrington Stanley's preparations to face his Fleetwood side

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Accrington Stanley 0 Fleetwood Town 1: Verdict

Holt was himself responding to Barton’s comments about the Wham Stadium pitch, which the Town boss criticised after Saturday’s 1-0 win.

Barton said: “Our group is growing. Results accelerate that. We have sometimes taken two steps forward and one step back.

“If we chart the course of this season’s journey to now, then we are moving in the right direction but we are far from the finished article.

“That is Cairnsy’s (goalkeeper Alex Cairns’) 15th clean sheet this season. It is testament to the work the players put in. We prepared for this game like a cup final because to me it was.

“I found out certain things from the way Accrington prepared and that was my team talk done.

“They had team bonding on Monday, climbed a mountain (Pendle Hill) on Tuesday and (had) Wednesday off, and think they can turn up and beat us? That is disrespectful.

“They got what they deserved on Saturday. I’m just disappointed we did not put five or six on them and teach them a lesson.

“If you think you can prepare for Fleetwood Town in that manner, then we see that as a huge disrespect for us.

“I would never approach it in that way but they have their way of doing things. Leave them to it.”

Town have climbed to 10th but remain eight points outside the play-off zone with seven to play, though they do have a game in hand on sixth-placed Doncaster and Barton says his players are still fighting for promotion.

He added: “It is an outside chance. The horses have seven hurdles to go over and a bit of catching up to do. As anyone who has been in this position knows, it is a steep hill to climb.

“Donny have put back-to-back wins together at a key time. We just have to try to be as good as we can and hope somebody around us makes a mistake.

“We want to drive our total as high as we can. If that is good enough to sneak into the play-offs, then great.

“It is nice to come into April and have something to play for, and not be looking over your shoulder fighting relegation.

“It is a highly competitive league. There are some big clubs below us and Accy are looking over their shoulder trying to make sure they are not in League Two next season.”