Joey Barton says full-back Lewie Coyle could feature in central midfield for Fleetwood Town again after his impressive cameo in the 2-1 Highbury defeat by Luton Town.
READ MORE: Joey Barton delighted to see Nathan Sheron commit future to Fleetwood
Fleetwood were two goals down to the League One leaders when Barton moved Wes Burns to right-back and switched Leeds United loanee Coyle to a central midfield role. Fleetwood went on to pull a late goal back through Paddy Madden.
Burns, who earned praise as a right-back during Coyle’s three-match suspension, started in a more attacking role against the Hatters.
Barton said of Coyle: “He said he felt he was running around a little bit like a headless chicken but I thought he was good in there. We are at a stage when we need to look at a few different things.
“I think Wes is potentially a top level full-back. He made a hell of a difference when he went in there on Saturday. The problem is Coyley has been outstanding too.
“We just wanted to have a quick look at that. At 2-0 down we thought we had nothing to lose and it actually worked for us. I will analyse the video and we will see where that goes. They are all positive signs.”
As James Wallace nurses a hamstring injury, boss Barton is keen to develop the versatile Nathan Sheron in a midfield role.
The 21-year-old signed a new contract on Monday which ties him to the club at least until the summer of 2021.
Sheron made history at Oxford in October by becoming the club’s first academy product to feature in an EFL fixture. He has gone on to make 19 league appearances, including 12 starts.
Barton said: “With J Wallace out, we do not have a recognised number four.
“We have got Shez, who is learning his trade. He was a centre-half before we walked in. We are trying to teach him the profession and we are trying to impart as much wisdom as we can but it takes time. We have to ask, ‘Can we up-skill our lads?’ I think we can.
“If we cannot do it quickly enough for us to be successful, then we need to look at recruiting in that slot.
“We are progressing nicely. It is weird saying that in a defeat but I have not been more positive in a defeat than on Saturday because we have faced the best side in the division.”