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Fleetwood Town virus free as Barton prepares to welcome back Wes Burns for Barnsley clash

Fleetwood Town's Wes Burns is sent off for a challenge on Bradford City's Adam Chicksen
Fleetwood Town's Wes Burns is sent off for a challenge on Bradford City's Adam Chicksen

Wes Burns is back from suspension and illness after being one of the Fleetwood Town players hit by the virus that impacted last weekend’s game at Southend United.

The 23-year-old has missed Town’s last three league games after being sent off in the 2-1 win over Bradford City.

Town have not won since then, having drawn with Sunderland and Accrington Stanley before the defeat at Roots Hall.

The hope is that Town are virus-free and Burns displays his form from earlier in the season with Ash Hunter and James Wallace suspended.

Barton said: “Wes is another one who has been in this virus gang.

“It has gone round the place like a wildfire; thankfully we seem to be out the back end of it.

“I’m disappointed for Wes because it was not a red card; I thought in real time it is not a red.

“But a three-game suspension quickly turns into a five game one because of the Checkatrade (Trophy) and the Lancashire Cup.

“He’s missed a bundle of games so we have to be careful with him because he is a fit lad but the most disappointing thing for him was he was finding a rich vein of form.

“He looked like he was going to be one of the standout players in our performances.

“Hopefully he can get back to that and hit the ground running this weekend.

“He has been fantastic in training, which has kind of rubbed salt in the wounds.

“You see him be excellent in training and then he can’t play because of the ban.”

James Husband missed the game at Roots Hall with the virus, though Ched Evans played after recovering from it with a number of other first teamers impacted.

Skipper Craig Morgan (hamstring), attacker Conor McAleny (hamstring), forward Chris Long (hamstring) and midfielder Dean Marney (groin) are all doubts.

The game might be too soon for some of that quartet but Barton hopes to have a fully-fit squad back soon as new signings Ryan Taylor and Ross Wallace push for starts.

He said: “We have had a couple of lads recover from a virus that we have had going round the place.

“Everyone is progressing and hopefully we get a full complement back soon.”

The last time Town lost in the league was on the opening day and they went on a seven-game unbeaten run.

Now, after only their second league defeat of the season, Barton wants a response.

He said: “On the whole, every time we have had a negative result – which was the opening day of the season and you could argue the Leicester game in the cup – the response has been what we have been looking for.

“That will be the key, how we respond. We have a big challenge ahead of us at the weekend but it is one we are looking forward to .”