Fleetwood Town trio earn head coach's praise

Joey Barton has praised last week’s signings as a “credit to their profession” for taking a hit on their pay in order to play for Fleetwood Town.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 4:45 pm

The head coach revealed that Callum Connolly, Tom Edwards and Charlie Mulgrew all took pay cuts to step down from a higher level and join the Cod Army on loan.

Barton explained: “They have all given money back out of their salaries to come out and play football, which in the modern game I think is refreshing.

“We enquired about a lot of other players but players didn’t want to give up their salaries. They didn’t want to play more than they wanted to earn the money.

Callum Connolly rejoined Fleetwood Town on loan Picture: Greig Bertram/PRiME Media Images Limited

“I’ve been a player and I know they have bills to pay and things going on in their family lives, so I totally respect those decisions but the lads we brought in are a credit to their profession.

“They’ve all contributed money back to their clubs to come out on loan and get playing. That’s great for us because it says people aren’t coming here just for the money – they are coming to be part of the Fleetwood Town project we are trying to build and it shows real hunger in them.”

Connolly made his second Town debut on loan from Everton – the 23-year-old had a 15-game stint at Highbury last season – in the defeat at Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, when Stoke City’s Edwards made his debut as a substitute.

Mulgrew made his first start on loan from Blackburn Rovers, having come off the bench in Saturday’s draw with Lincoln City.

Barton added: “I think it’s a great sign that our club is able to recruit them, but great credit to them and to the people who surround them for wanting to get out, play football and earn their wages.

“Enormous credit to our director of football, chief scout, CEO and the owner (Andy Pilley) because it’s his hard-earned cash that he puts into the football club.”