Fleetwood Town players get Christmas Day off as boss Joey Barton says the festive period is about family time not just football

Fleetwood Town players Alex Cairns and Ash Hunter at Brian House
Fleetwood Town players Alex Cairns and Ash Hunter at Brian House

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has given his players Christmas Day off as he stressed that the festive period is all about family.

Last year, former boss Uwe Rosler brought the players in for training on the 25th.

In contrast, Barton - who has a young family of his own - says it is important to spend the big day with family ahead of Boxing Day's home game with Doncaster Rovers.

He said: "We will have Christmas with our families and enjoy the Christmas period, although it is not that for footballers.

"It is just a busier period and we are looking forward to getting back to our stadium in front of our fans, playing against a good Doncaster side and giving it a right go."

Barton has placed his trust in the Town players to avoid overindulgence today.

He also believes that last week's annual Christmas trip to Brian House Children's Hospice stressed how important family is at this time of year.

He said: "Because of the travel, for most lads it is an hour-and-a-half to Fleetwood and then an hour-and-a-half back.

"We trust them to do the right thing, not too have too much Christmas dinner and be at home with their families.

"Christmas Day is an important day to be with your family, certainly being at Brian House last week drives those things home.

"There is not much we can do that will make a mad difference by going in for 30 or 40 minutes on Christmas Day.

"It is important people are with their family and loved ones."