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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton believes his number one Alex Cairns is the best goalkeeper in League One

Alex Cairns
Alex Cairns

Joey Barton believes he has the best keeper in League One at his disposal in Alex Cairns after bringing in Paul Jones as competition.

The 32-year-old had been on trial and impressed in Town’s final pre-season game of the season as they beat Chorley 2-1 on Monday.
That trial became a permanent move with Jones signing a one-year deal.
With another of Town’s keepers, Billy Crellin, having joined FC United on loan, Jones is battling Matty Urwin for a spot on Town’s bench for Saturday’s League One opener with AFC Wimbledon behind Cairns.
Barton said: “We want someone to come in and push Al (pictured) because I think he is the best goalkeeper in League One.
“I think he can do things very few keepers can do and he suits the way we want to play the game.
“His qualities on the ball as a footballer are exceptional.
“You see top modern-day goalkeepers, you have to be able to play; it is a massive part of it and it can contribute to what you are trying to do.
“With Al we have got that but I do think we need another body, another keeper to make sure he is competitive and he is being pushed.
“Matty has done that in pre-season, Billy has done that.
“We feel that we are pushing Billy down a development pathway so that he develops to his full potential.
“We may need to supplement that with another keeper.
“We have had Paul Jones on trial; he did really well against Chorley and made an incredible save.”
Barton is happy that Crellin will be getting game time in National League North as he now faces a choice between Jones and Urwin for Saturday’s match.
He said: “We want competition for places.
“The key is we have a young keeper (Crellin) who everyone is excited about; we want to try and give him the opportunity to progress and develop into what could be a potential England goalkeeper.
“There is a lot of work to do between now and then but he is a really exciting prospect.
“You have got to balance that with what the first team needs.
“He was man of the match for them against Rochdale so that is already bearing fruit for us because we are getting him back and he is having that experience of men’s football.
“It is a tried and tested method for keepers who have gone on to progress out of academies.”