Fleetwood Town’s Paul Coutts is glad of his own winter break

Paul Coutts has started fewer matches lately for Fleetwood Town
Paul Coutts has started fewer matches lately for Fleetwood Town

Paul Coutts is grateful for the rest he has been afforded by Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton.

The Town captain, almost an ever-present in the first half of the season, has since had a chance to rest.

Tuesday’s win at Wycombe Wanderers was the midfielder’s first start since Town’s draw with Shrewsbury Town on January 18.

The arrival of Glenn Whelan has seen Coutts starting more matches on the bench.

As for his personal winter break, the Scot said it was a joint decision, admitting: “I spoke to the manager over Christmas. I’d played a lot of minutes, so I had a little rest.

“As it goes in football, someone then performs well and you’ve got to fight for your shirt back. I’ve just worked hard and tried to train well .

“I felt I did need a rest. It was a discussion between us both and was probably the right thing to do. I felt refreshed coming back into the side, having recharged the batteries.”

After winning three successive League One games for the first time under Barton, Coutts believes Town are gaining momentum when it matters most.

“Three wins in a row is great at any stage but we’re getting to the business end, so it’s nice to hit form at the right time,” he said.

“It’s just relentless, especially with the games stacking up. We’ve got a break next week but then we have games three Tuesdays in a row, so it’s busy but you’d rather be playing games than training.

“We’ve got a bit of momentum going, so you want the games to come as quickly as possible and keep ticking off wins.”