Joey Barton says Fleetwood Town are wising up to 'game intelligence'

Joey Barton hailed his side's game-management against Coventry and Guiseley
Joey Barton hailed his side's game-management against Coventry and Guiseley

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says his team’s game intelligence and game management are developing as they plan to upset the form book at Luton Town on Saturday.

READ MORE: Barton's bid to make FA Cup history with Fleetwood
The Hatters have the best home record in League One – unbeaten after eight wins and two draws.

Barton’s side have lost their last four away games in the league but head south on the back of successive wins over Coventry and Guiseley.

The Town boss said: “It really is just football. You do go on little spells.

“We have spoken about consistency levels and the real challenge is finding that consistency.

“We were really good away early in the season and not at our most fluent at home. That has kind of been flipped on its head a little bit. I hope it settles down and we get the best of both worlds.

“The team is growing and we see things on a daily basis in terms of little bits of game nous, know-how.

“The game intelligence for me was the most pleasing thing, certainly in the Coventry game – getting the goal, then shutting the game down with the second and the third. We were not doing that early in the season.

“In the Guiseley game we scored first and got the second quite quickly. We give away a goal we should never have but the game management thereafter was key.

“It would have been easy to get drawn into warfare. They were getting the ball into the box and brought the subs on to rough us up, but I never felt we got panicked or nervy.

“We really showed that cold professional streak to get the cup-tie done and dusted.”

Midfielders Ryan Taylor and Kyle Dempsey were left out of the squad for those two games and did not travel to Guiseley on Monday, instead training at Poolfoot Farm,

Barton explained he did not want to change a winning squad from Coventry and saw no need for the pair to sit in the stand at Guiseley.

But after James Wallace picked up an injury in the warm-up on Monday, Barton says both are back in contention. He added: “We have picked up a couple of knocks, so we could end up with the lads back in.

“We won 3-0 over Coventry, so it was going to be same team and I gave them the option. I said, ‘You can travel with us but you will probably be sitting in the stand’.

“Out of respect to them I said, ‘There is a training session on and if you want to train you can’. They both wanted to train and did not want to sit in the stand.

“I don’t blame them when the game was on TV and it was as cold as it was.”