Joey Barton challenges Fleetwood Town to bounce back against Doncaster Rovers

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is looking forward to some home comforts as he hailed the fans for their support.

Town are aiming to bounce back from Saturday’s last-gasp 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers by making it seven unbeaten at Highbury against Doncaster Rovers on Boxing Day.

Barton is keen for the players to respond after praising the fans for making the lengthy trip to Bristol and seeing Ched Evans controversially sent off.

He said: “I was surprised when I looked over and saw so many.

“They would have been well within their rights a couple of days out from the Christmas period to sit on their settees but they have been first class.

“We are just disappointed we could not deliver away points for them.

“We have been keen to put it right on the road. We had lost five on the spin prior to Saturday and we were 30, 40 seconds away from stopping that run.

“But we are back at Highbury, we are strong at Highbury; two big games with Doncaster and Portsmouth and two big tests for us.”

Doncaster come first with Wes Burns, James Wallace and James Husband all doubts for Town.

However, those who do figure today will be looking to put right the result from Saturday after enjoying Christmas Day off.

Barton said: “We will rest, recover and fill the energy tanks ready to go and perform as best we can in front of our fans.

“We are on a great run at home and Boxing Day is a great fixture for the football fan.

“When you feel like we did in that dressing room on Saturday we are just looking forward to the next encounter and some time to get over it for me.

“There is nothing worse than losing games of football but it is always how you respond.

“We have responded fantastically well this season; I expect the same on Wednesday.

“We are keen to approach the game like everything depends on it because, for us, that is our group; that is the way they approach games.

‘If we keep turning up, rally around one of our players (Evans) who, in our opinion, was wrongly sent off and rally round in that manner and defend in that manner, you can see we are a proper team.’

“We have been down to 10 men before against Bradford when we had Wes Burns sent off but managed to win the game.

“I thought we were well worth a point based on the resilience we showed.”