Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town could be among the late play-off chasers

Fleetwood Town have had cause for celebration lately
Fleetwood Town have had cause for celebration lately

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has warned the top six that a number of sides are all capable of making a late charge for the play-offs.

Sixth-placed Doncaster moved eight points clear of ninth-placed Town with a win against Southend on Tuesday.

However, as they prepare to host League One leaders Luton Town on Saturday, Barton is full of belief that one of the ‘breakaway’ mid-table pack can have a late surge and challenge for the top six.

While seventh-placed Peterborough United have dropped four points behind Doncaster, Blackpool, Town, Wycombe and Coventry are all racking up the points.

Barton has admitted there was a time when his players were at risk of being drawn into a relegation battle.

Now, with 14 games to go, he is looking up following back-to-back wins over Charlton Athletic and Bradford City.

He said: “It is just a pleasing thing for the football club.

“There was a time where the division is so tight, with one or two defeats you could be in the bottom half – one or two wins and you could be in the top half.

“Thankfully we have moved towards the top group.

“The teams that are building potentially a breakaway pack – the likes of Blackpool, Wycombe, Coventry – are all thinking ‘could we make a late charge for a play-off spot if someone slips up above us?’

“You have to be mindful that there was a period in the season when we were looking and thinking we are only a couple of defeats away from being involved in a scrap like Bradford find themselves in now.

“The key for us is finishing the season as strongly as we possibly can; where that takes us I do not know.

“There are loads of points to play for and I think we have to believe.”