Fleetwood boss Joey Barton keeps feet on ground in 'weird season'

Joey Barton with Wimbledon boss Wally Downes on Tuesday
Joey Barton with Wimbledon boss Wally Downes on Tuesday

They might have moved up to eighth in League One but Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is not getting carried away with dreams of a play-off push.

READ MORE: Barton delighted to see Ched Evans take out frustration on Wimbledon
Town are eight points behind sixth-placed Peterborough United and seven points above the drop zone after Tuesday’s 3-0 win at AFC Wimbledon.

Asked if the play-offs were still a possibility, Barton said: “Let’s not get too carried away. It is one result.

“Coming into the game we had not won in four but we are unbeaten in four now. It is just a weird season.

“It is a really good result and a good performance away. We now have two home fixtures (Scunthorpe and Charlton) and have to get rolling at home.

“I think the seeds that are being sown will stand us in good stead.”

The win at Wimbledon ended a run of eight away league games without a win but Barton added: “We were two unbeaten away before Tuesday, so let’s look at the positives. You go through weird spells – that is the reality of this league.

“We have spoken about finding a level of consistency. We just need a consistent run of performances Tuesday is a fantastic start to that.

“We policed the game and kept our fantastic habit of winning the first half. Thankfully we managed to consolidate that and the lads deserve enormous credit.

Town had made a habit of surrendering half-time leads and Barton added: “We are clearly doing something right from Monday to 3.45pm on a Saturday afternoon because usually we are ahead at that point.

“It is a very simple problem for me to solve if it is just the 15-minute break and then the 45 after! Most managers up and down the country are trying to sort out the first 45.

“Thankfully we have maybe got a bit of a monkey off the back but it is just one performance. We need to make sure we are solid for the next 17 games.”

Ched Evans was recalled at Wimbledon as Lewie Coyle began his three-match suspension. This enforced change was the only one Barton has made to his starting line-up in three games.

The Town boss added: “You want to keep a balanced and settled side because you see they are building relationships.

“James Wallace gives us that solid platform and helps out the centre-halves. I keep showing him videos of Fernandinho and just saying the role he plays for the team is key, certainly in the system we are trying to play.

“J does a lot of that goes unnoticed, breaking up of play.

“It is difficult for me to single out any player for praise but James Husband has been excellent in the last couple of games.

“Me and Hubby had a good heart to heart. I thought he was our best player by a mile. He was absolutely outstanding.”