Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton ready to renew a friendly rivalry with Accrington Stanley counterpart John Coleman

Joey Barton and John Coleman
Joey Barton and John Coleman

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says there is no feud between himself and Accrington Stanley.

When Town beat Accrington 1-0 at the Wham Stadium in March, Barton was not happy in his post-match press conference.

He had taken offence at Stanley chairman Andy Holt’s Twitter comments about Town’s budget and advised him to conduct himself differently in future.

Holt had speculated about Town’s budget in responding to Barton’s initial criticism about Accrington’s pitch, having questioned whether the game would take place due to the weather and previous postponements.

When asked if he was up against the old foe in John Coleman and his assistant Jimmy Bell, Barton said: “No, they are great lads.

“I met Coley in the summer. We were both in Turkey; I was out there with a couple of pals of mine golfing and he was out there golfing and stayed out with his wife.

“We met up and had a good laugh, had a couple of pints, chewed the fat, debriefed the season and talked about the trials and tribulations of being a League One manager.

“For someone like me John has an enormous amount of experience.

“You have to be a sponge in his company and I do really enjoy being in the company of all their coaching staff at Accy.”

Last season, Town and Stanley drew 1-1 at Highbury and Barton anticipates a tough afternoon after Coleman’s side let a two-goal lead slip to lose 3-2 against Shrewsbury Town in midweek.

He said: “They came riding the crest of a wave early on in the season and played some great stuff.

“We were delighted to get a point because on that day they were the better side.

“I felt when we went to their place we were definitely the better side.

“It was a game impacted by the pitch for them, as much for us, because they are a good footballing side.

“They want to get the ball down and play, thankfully Andy Holt and Accrington have rectified it.

“For spells last year they were as good as anyone in our division for getting the ball on the floor and playing neat intricate football.

“They had a disappointing result in midweek and not getting anything out of it will be frustrating for John.

“We will have to deal with the backlash of that because knowing their players and staff the way they do they will be a wounded animal.”