Joey Barton happy for Fleetwood Town to share the goals around

Tom Eaves was the matchwinner when Town lost at Gillingham last season
Tom Eaves was the matchwinner when Town lost at Gillingham last season

Joey Barton is more concerned about the threat his Fleetwood Town forwards can pose Gillingham rather than their nine-goal striker Tom Eaves.

Eaves has nine for the season thus far and it was the 26-year-old Liverpudlian who sank Town with two goals in their last visit to the Priestfield Stadium as they were beaten 2-1 in January this year.

While acknowledging the danger posed by the Gills’ front man, Barton highlighted Town’s ability to spread the goals around their squad.

Paddy Madden and Ched Evans both have half-a-dozen goals for the season with Wes Burns finding the net on four occasions and Ash Hunter with three to his name.

Ross Wallace also opened his account for the club in Town’s 3-2 derby day win against Blackpool seven days ago.

“I’ve seen him play,” Barton said of Eaves, who started his career with Oldham Athletic before spells with clubs including Bolton Wanderers and Yeovil Town.

“In League One, he has been a handful.

“He always seems to be in the goals and is a real threat due to his size and physicality but, also, he has got a lot of quality.

“We have to be mindful of him at the weekend.

“But if you talk about Tom and his talents you have to flip that out and, outside of that, they have a few good players.

“He’s the main goalscorer for them, the nearest man to him has got two goals.

“A lot of what they do is built around Tom and his ability.

“It is a team that is set up for him to do well and he usually does that.

“But you look at our side, yes we will be mindful of their talented players but they have got to think about what we have got: Ched Evans, Paddy Madden, Wes Burns, Ash Hunter, Ross Wallace.

“So as much as we will look at the opposition and pay them the respect they deserve, you also have to be mindful of what we do and what we have got.

“We have got some phenomenal players who are starting to score goals.

“We share the goals around the team and we will concentrate fully on what we will be doing.

“Saturday is about us. If we apply ourselves it will be difficult for Gillingham to do anything about it.”