Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton backs his players ahead of Ipswich Town’s visit

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

Joey Barton says Fleetwood Town are ready for the test posed by League One leaders Ipswich Town this afternoon.

The pacesetters visit Highbury to face Barton’s side, who go into the match sitting third in the table.

While Barton acknowledges his side faces a tough test today, he has also backed them to cause problems for Paul Lambert’s players.

He said: “We’ll be a huge examination for them on Saturday but I think, for us, it’s a huge examination to see how far we’ve come.

“We don’t fear anyone. Our group will not fear anyone because we know we’ll either win or we’ll learn.

“If we don’t win Saturday, it isn’t fatal for us.

“If Fleetwood Town beat Ipswich on Saturday, it could well reverse a lot of good work that’s been done by Paul Lambert and his team.

“They’ve got to arrest the slide of last year and the slide of the club through the divisions.

“They’ve got to try and get that culture solid and mount a promotion campaign, and they’ve made a really good start of it.

“It’s up to us to create the pressure and it’s up to us to win the game.

“I think, if we deliver, we’re more than capable of causing anybody – not just Ipswich – any single team in this division, lots and lots of problems.”

In the opposition dugout this afternoon will be Lambert, who has managed at every level from League Two to the Premier League with clubs including Aston Villa, Wolves and Stoke City.

Barton has a lot of respect for Lambert and the challenges he’s overcome through the divisions.

He said: “As a coach, he’s managed up the levels and you have to respect that because this game is about levels and every step you take, and every level you move up, poses an enormous amount of challenges.

“For me, I put in as much into this job as is possible for me to do.

“I compare myself to me. I know that if I keep getting better and I keep doing what I’m doing then we’ll be fine.

“Whilst it’s good to test yourself against a manager that has managed at a higher level, you’ve also got to understand that if they’ve managed at a higher level and now they’re managing at this level, then their career trajectory isn’t what they want it to be.

“I’m sure Paul would want to be managing in the Premier League and the Champions League because that’s where everyone wants to manage.”