Fleetwood Town’s players should give the fans something to shout about on derby day

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is relishing his first experience of the Fylde coast derby this afternoon.

Barton’s playing career saw him figure in a number of derbies from Manchester to Glasgow, Lancashire to the North East and West London.

Fleetwood are yet to beat Blackpool in the league with three draws and one win for the Seasiders in four meetings.

“I think they all have their own little things that are different,” Barton said.

“I played in Manchester derbies and one Glasgow derby which was certainly hostile.

“Marseille and PSG is a massive game; Newcastle-Sunderland was very intense; Burnley-Blackburn was surprisingly spicy as well.

“QPR-Chelsea and QPR-Fulham as well so loads of derbies but everybody’s derby is their most important derby.

“There is no derby that means more than the others up and down the country because you go into work on Monday morning and you get to take the mickey out of your pals.

“It gives you bragging rights, certainly until next time you meet.

“We want to give our fans a chance to do that on Monday morning.

“I know the owner (Andy Pilley) has always wanted to beat Blackpool.

“We get a chance to do that on Saturday and our players get a chance to go down in Fleetwood Town’s history books.”

Barton played against Blackpool in the Premier League but, after Town’s dramatic rise from non-league, they now meet as equals.

After four years in the third tier Town are now an established League One side and Barton is expecting the unexpected.

He said: “It is my first experience of this derby.

“I have played in many others over the years but I’m really looking forward to it.

“A huge tip of the cap to Fleetwood Town and where they have come in the last decade and also, probably, on the flip side of that is a huge disappointment to Blackpool fans and that club.

“I remember playing against them in the Premier League not so long ago.

“We meet Blackpool on equal terms; I’m looking forward to the contest and so should everyone in this football club.

“It is a derby; who knows what to expect?

“You think it will be a tight, cagey affair and then it ends up being a blowout one way or another.

“Other times you think one side will batter the other and you end up getting a shock.

“It is a derby the players will be aware of that because there will be an atmosphere in the stadium.

“They will have had the build-up towards it.

“It normally comes down to who manages the occasion better but also who takes the opportunities.”