Fleetwood Town boss is glad deadline day has gone

Joey Barton and Neal Ardley
Joey Barton and Neal Ardley

Joey Barton is pleased to get the “chaos” of deadline day out of the window and focus on the task ahead after keeping his key players.

Rumours swirled about Championship interest in Cian Bolger, Alex Cairns and Kyle Dempsey but all three remain Town players for tomorrow’s trip to Oxford United.

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton

Barton said: “Getting the deadline out of the way is a key thing for any football manager. Just having the chaos out of the way allows everyone to settle down and get cracking.”

Barton and assistant Clint Hill were at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium as spectators for Fleetwood’s last visit, when John Sheridan’s men won 1-0 thanks to a Conor McAleny wonder-strike.

After that April win Barton knew his first managerial role would be in League One and not League Two.

Reflecting on that watching brief at Oxford, Barton said: “A lot of the stuff we did was based on the games we watched. There is a lot of improvement.

“We are seven weeks into a three-year deal, so we are at the embryonic stages. We have ideas – change shape, change formation.

“We probably had a few players here who were expecting big things to materialise because agents might be guilty of overexaggerating certain bits of interest.

“Once the window closes, you can say ‘this is where we are at’ and it takes the confusion away from players.

“The main thing is settling everyone down. We have lots to do here.

“The team finished 14th last year off the back of a little bit of resurgence later in the campaign. There was a period when we thought we would be managing a League Two club.

“We knew there was a lot of work to do and nothing has changed. We are focused, getting stronger and better every day.

“From the moment we walked into the football club everything we have done has progressed us, bar 90 minutes on Saturday (when Town lost their opener at home to AFC Wimbledon) but we can live with that.

“If you give me a seven-week block when we have just 90 minutes of brain-freeze I will take that. You have to believe in the process.”

Despite the window closing, Barton can still dip into the loan market.

He added: “You are trying to get cover and versatility into your squad. We think we have that but we also have a loan up our sleeve as you can play five loan players.

“We have four and if the right player becomes available it would be right for the competition in the squad to bring one in.

“We are not going to bring a loan in for (the sake of) bringing one in.

“If he does not improve the group, then we will not bring one in because the group is in a great spot at the moment.

“We have got a really good core of players and a set of men.

“If someone comes in and adds to, then great. If not, I’m good to go with what I have got and we will find solutions and a way to make it work. That is the way we do things.”