Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton challenges his players to create history this season

Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton

Joey Barton wants his Fleetwood Town players to make history and better the side that made the League One play-offs three years ago.

Having been knocked out of both the FA Cup and the Leasing.com Trophy within days of each other, Town’s focus turns back to the league campaign starting with Shrewsbury Town’s visit to Highbury this afternoon.

They go into the game 11th in the table, but only three points adrift of the top six and with two games in hand.

Barton said: “We’re into cup final football now, where we’ve got to win every game, because every league game left for us is a cup final.

“We’re Fleetwood Town, this is uncharted territory barring Uwe Rosler’s team that season who kind of went on a run about this time of year; an incredible run of 1-0 wins and set-play goals.

“That is the most successful Fleetwood team in history.

“We’ve got to try and beat that, we’ve got to try and be better than them. If we can do that, then the club is progressing.

“We think we’ve recruited decent players but ultimately, you’re trying to change the whole culture of the club.

“The reality of it is, if you stop the season now, we’ve got more points than any other Fleetwood side at this stage of a season in League One.

“But the challenge is to finish in May with more points than any other Fleetwood side.

“Those lads were very unfortunate not to get promoted, they had a great season.

“The challenge for us is to match it and then back it up consistently.”

With games in hand on sides above them, Town’s league position might not be a fair reflection of their efforts so far.

However, Barton acknowledged that the close-knit nature of the table means results either way can change what a club plays for.

He said: “The league table looks mad, it’s no easy thing to read.

“We’re in an insane league where, if you go out and win two games, you can be in the automatic positions, and if you lose two, you can be just above the group that is fighting relegation.

“Every game for us is a cup final, starting Saturday against Shrewsbury, and we’ve got to make sure we turn up and reach our level of performance.

“If we do that, most likely, in this division, we win games.”