Fleetwood boss Joey Barton backs Paddy Madden for new goals benchmark

Paddy Madden needs six more goal to match his season's best of 24
Paddy Madden needs six more goal to match his season's best of 24

Joey Barton is hungry for more goals from Paddy Madden and backed the striker to become the first Fleetwood Town player since Jamie Vardy to top 20 in a season.

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Vardy hit 34 in 2011-12 to help clinch promotion to the Football League and a move for himself to Leicester City.

Now Barton wants Madden, who scored his 18th of the campaign in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Luton Town, to break his own goalscoring record.

The 28-year-old netted 24 in Yeovil’s 2012-13 League One promotion campaign and 23 for Scunthorpe three seasons later.

Fourteen of Madden’s Town goals have been scored in the league, placing him seventh in the League One scoring charts.

Barton does not want the Irishman to take his foot off the gas with 13 games remaining and said: “Paddy has been first-class. He has turned up virtually every week for us, sets the tone in many ways and I am running out of words to say about him.

“His best goal return is 24 and in the next 13 games I expect him to set the benchmark for where he needs to be next year.”

Another player Barton expects to maintain his current form is left-back James Husband, though the Town boss won’t stop pushing all of his players to fulfil their potential.

He added: “I won’t ever come off the lads. That is part of being at this club.

“James Husband has had five really good games and has set the benchmark for his performance. That is what we expect of him every week.

“It is my job as a taskmaster to drive the standards and sometimes drive you to things you do not think you are capable of.

“That is what all the great and good managers did with me. If I want to remember myself as a good manager, that is what I have got to do.

“We have a great culture emerging and I was really proud of the team on Saturday.

“The atmosphere was good and we had them rattled for a period.”