Paddy Madden wants to become the first Fleetwood Town player since Jamie Vardy to top 20 goals in a season.
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Striker Madden, 28, signed for Town in January from Scunthorpe but did not set any targets last season due to that late arrival.
But as he prepares to feature in this afternoon’s training game against National League North side Southport at Poolfoot Farm (1pm, free admission), the Irishman is targeting a big haul in 2018/19.
The ex-Yeovil man is brimming with confidence under new boss Joey Barton and has set a target of 20-plus goals when the League One campaign begins at home to AFC Wimbledon on August 4.
That tally has not been achieved at Town since Vardy, who could fire England into the quarter-finals of the World Cup tonight, helped steer Town into the Football League in 2011-12.
Madden said of Barton: “He has a lot of knowledge of the club, how we like to play, what the community is like. We could not have asked for anyone better to take on the role.”
That training game against Southport will be the Cod Army’s first chance to see a Barton team ahead of Friday’s first official pre-season friendly at Salford City.
And experienced professional Madden says Barton has impressed him by treating every player from the Under-18s to the senior pros exactly the same.
He added: “I think the new gaffer and the staff have brought a good positive vibe.
“It is a great place to be around and I am looking forward to the new season. He is a top man.
“The one thing that stands out already for me is that he is treating everyone the same.
“That is good for everyone in the squad because it means everyone will come in with a positive frame of mind.”
Madden is pleased to see Barton giving youth a chance in pre-season so far. He said: “We have all been young ourselves and you just need that little chance to show what you can do.
“The gaffer has put everyone in the same bracket and has given the young lads a chance, It will only be good for everyone because it makes the working environment better.”
Madden is also a fan of Barton’s approach to pre-season, adding: “I’ve had some pre-seasons where you are straight to running but the gaffer knows what players need and has eased us in.”