Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton would like to close the January transfer window

Joey Barton would like to see the winter transfer window scrapped to allow for a more settled atmosphere at clubs like Fleetwood Town.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 10:45 am
Fleetwood have recruited Callum Connolly

The Town boss saw three players move out of Highbury in the opening days of the window: centre-halves Peter Clarke and Jimmy Dunne as well as his “maverick from the bench” Ash Hunter.

And with injured loanee Jordan Rossiter out for the season, Barton said Fleetwood had been left weaker than they were at the start of the campaign.

It means the January window could come in very useful for Barton this time around – but he would still like to see it closed permanently.

He said: “Everybody is linked with everybody. I think every player in League One is holding out for a Championship move and everyone in the Championship is holding out for a Premier League move. It’s a crazy time of year.

“I’ll be really happy when that deadline is past and you can get stuck in with your players again, working with them on a daily basis and not worrying about any of them being taken from you.

“And the players can settle down and not have to worry about someone coming in and taking their shirts.

“I personally think that you start the season with what you’ve got, and when the (summer) window closes that should be it for the season.

“Some people want to keep it open for the whole season. For me, you make your bed (in the summer) and you have to lie in it.

“It’d certainly change the way a lot of people do things.

“We’ve brought Callum Connolly in but we still feel we’re a few players down from when we started the season.

“If we’re serious about having a great season, then you don’t want to make yourself weaker in the second part because players are already fatigued by the workload so far.

“You want freshness, fresh energy and fresh faces going into the harder part of the season, which is the business end.”

Tomorrow Fleetwood host a Shrewsbury Town side who are looking forward to an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Liverpool next weekend thanks to their replay win over Bristol City on Tuesday.

Barton believes he knows what to expect from the Shropshire side. “3-5-2, although they did play an extra midfielder against Bristol – they may do that against us,” he said.

“Sam (Shrews manager Ricketts) is quite consistent in his team shape and selection.

“I thought we were really good down there in the second half (winning 3-0 last September). We deservedly won in the end in a relatively straightforward way in the end. It will be a tough test.

“They will be buoyed after keeping a clean sheet and that first goal could be key.

“If we get it, it’ll be a change of scenery for them because they’ll have to come out and be more offensive.

“If they get it, they’re going to be tough to break. Fleetwood fans have seen it this year – there will be a lot of low blocks and their back-three turns into a back five.

“We’re probably going to have to break them down. They’ll come here happy with a point.

“Then like most teams who come to our place, they will see if they can nick something and then we’ll have to scrap.

“You’d probably like to play a team lower on confidence than them because they will be buoyed by knocking out a Championship side in the FA Cup. They’ve got Liverpool around the corner, and a lot of their players will want to play in that game.

“For our players, it’s about taking them right up to that edge to see how much they want to play in that game against the best team in the world.”