Fleetwood Town boosted by Blackpool hotel stay before derby win

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton celebrates
Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton celebrates

Fleetwood Town’s first derby victory was built in Blackpool as Joey Barton’s side stayed in the resort ahead of Saturday’s historic win.

Town had only won twice at Highbury this season prior to the impressive 3-2 win over their neighbours.

And after a week that saw them head to Portsmouth and Peterborough, boss Barton decided to keep the on-the-road mentality by staying over at the Hampton by Hilton hotel on Blackpool’s Promenade. The head coach was keen to keep the pre-match build-up as regimented as it is on their travels.

And the idea paid off as Town raced into a 2-0 lead. Barton said: “We just had a weird travelling week going to Portsmouth and Peterborough. We had spoken about all manner of things to keep the energy in the tank. We wanted to keep the lads upbeat and full of life to go and deliver a performance.

“We had been away twice in the last six days and Blackpool had been at home twice. They were probably coming to us having slept in their own beds.

“We just wanted to get our group together and make sure we got the right food into them and a lot of rest and sleep into them. You know where they are in a hotel.

“On the morning of the game we made sure we fed them and everyone did the right protocols to be able to deliver a high- energy performance. It worked superbly for us.”

Barton (right) targeted a good start and stressed that Terry McPhillips’ Blackpool could not have gone 11 games unbeaten in League One or earned a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at Arsenal without being a good side.

Barton added: “I am pleased with every element. We always speak to the lads about winning the first five minutes. It sounds crazy but it is vital for the performance.

“If people start in the right manner, the rest of the performance tends to flow from that. We started as well as we have all season.

“Blackpool are a good side, no doubt. You don’t get to the last 16 of the League Cup from League One unless you are a good side.

“We were aware of that coming in. We know their strengths. They have got some good players and are well coached by Terry and the staff.

“We knew we had to stop them and cause them problem. Our lads had to take on the lessons offered on the training ground, where we work incredibly hard.

“Ross Wallace’s goal is straight off the training ground, great execution.

“Our lads are really open to learning but we are by no means the finished article. We have lots to learn and we have got to keep progressing.

“We will make mistakes and lose games. We just hope that we can keep giving our fans performances like that.”