Joey Barton says Fleetwood Town proved they are ‘slightly better’ than Sunderland in 1-1 draw

The Fleetwood Town players and staff at the Stadium of Light
The Fleetwood Town players and staff at the Stadium of Light

Joey Barton says his men proved at the Stadium of Light that on the pitch Sunderland v Fleetwood was no David v Goliath match up.

Town played in front of their highest ever league crowd at Sunderland with more than 29,000 at the ground.
There were more fans in the Stadium of Light than the whole population of Fleetwood, 26,000 people recorded living in the town at the last census.
Though despite the difference in size of fanbase and stadium size Barton says his men proved man-for-man in their 1-1 draw that they were slightly better than Jack Ross’ side.
Paddy Madden’s ninth minute header gave Town the lead but Josh Maja equalised in the 36th minute.
Madden missed a penalty in the second half and Barton was disappointed not to leave the North East with three points.
He said: “We are disappointed, we felt we were the better side.
“I said it was not David v Goliath on the pitch and I was proven right today.
“I told you we were slightly better than them and anyone at the game today will know that.
“We were the better side, we took the lead deservedly and probably should have been further ahead.
“Then we gave away a sloppy goal from our point of view.
“You'd expect Sunderland at home to have spells in the game.
“They had 15 minutes before half-time and from 80 minutes onwards.
“But for the rest of the game I felt it was us who were the aggressor, us who was looking more likely to win the game.”
That penalty was given after left-back James Husband was fouled by Matthews in the box.
The Sunderland man was already on a yellow card but he was not shown a second.
Barton believes Darren Drysdale should have sent Matthews off.
Barton said: “Obviously you are disappointed when you miss the penalty because it is a great opportunity to take the lead.
“They should have been down to 10-men, that is the reality of it.
“The full-back Matthews is on a yellow card, fouls our player in the box denying him squaring the ball to pass it into an empty net and the referee does not book him.
We have had a tricky time with officials so I have got to be very careful with what I say but they have got to get the big calls correct.
“There are a number of occasions this season that they just aren't doing that.
“I get it is the heat of the battle but you have already given the penalty, it is a foul, denying a goal scoring opportunity.
“I'm not arguing for a straight red card.
It is almost certainly a yellow card, if he hasn't been booked the ref would 100 per cent book him.
“Such was it that the Sunderland staff took him off.
“To rub salt in the wounds Paddy normally coverts them and misses.
“We have had Alex Cairns make a good save for us at the end.
“We have weathered a little bit of a storm from corners and set-plays but we are disappointed because we should have won that game today.”