Fleetwood Town’s Gethin Jones is relishing the battle for a full-back slot as he aims to keep hold of the shirt for Saturday’s League One clash with Rochdale at Highbury.
Jones was one of only three who remained from the 2-0 win at Oxford to start against Crewe in Town’s first-ever League Cup win on Tuesday.
The defender slotted in at right-back, with Lewie Coyle again filling that problematic left-back spot.
And for Jones, that healthy competition that saw Barton make eight changes for the first-round tie is only good news for the club.
Speaking about the competition, he said: “I love it. I’ve known Lewie for a while now and it is good to get competition for places in every position.
“It is something we want to have. If you feel too comfortable that you are going to be playing every week, then maybe performances are not as good as you want them to be.
“If you have got someone competing against you and you are working hard in training, whoever performs best gets the nod.”
Coyle, was in his first loan spell from Leeds and established as Town’s right-back when Jones made the move from Everton in January.
Coyle has returned for a second season and Jones has worked hard in pre-season to force his way into Barton’s plans.
He said: “It was a tough time for me when I first came in because I was coming back from a thigh injury.
“I wanted to get out and play, and coming to Fleetwood is something I really wanted to do.
“With Lewie Coyle at right-back, sometimes I was playing at left-back and I really wanted to focus in pre-season on getting some fitness to prepare for the season.”