McAleny welcomes Fleetwood Town’s clean slate under new boss Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town's Conor McAleny
Fleetwood Town's Conor McAleny

Fleetwood Town striker Conor McAleny says all the players have a fresh start when pre-season training under new boss Joey Barton begins today.

For some it will be the first time they have met the former Burnley and Manchester City midfielder.

Barton watched from the stands as Fleetwood escaped the drop last season, rallying under John Sheridan to finish 14th in League One.

Many of that squad remain at Town and Barton is keen to judge all the players with his own eyes in his own training environment.

And fellow Liverpudlian McAleny, 25, believes that is fair and proper.

The striker said:” Everyone has got a clean slate. You’ve got to impress him.

“We will have to be on our toes because I’m sure he will demand high standards. It is going to be a good challenge.”

Barton did see McAleny’s wonder goal at Oxford in April, the stoppage-time winner that virtually clinched Town’s safety.

It was voted goal of the season and McAleny is keen to draw on such positives as he looks forward to next season.

He added: “I was happy with the goal and it is an award, so I am definitely pleased.

“It was an up and down season but the new manager came in and did really well, so that is a big positive.

“We have a new manager coming in now and everyone is concentrating on that.”

Town showed how well they can respond to fresh starts by going seven matches unbeaten under Sheridan following eight straight defeats.

McAleny said: “I think it was just a fresh start, a new face to impress. Once we got a few draws and that win we just got a bit more confidence and took it in our stride.

“But we don’t want that again. It was and up and down season, with some good moments and some bad ones.

“I think a lot of people in the team had never been involved in a relegation battle before and we got ourselves out of it, so fair play to us. Now we move on to next season.”

n Kristian Perry has moved to Highbury from Blackpool to become joint-manager of women’s team Fleetwood Wrens.

Perry will work alongside David Butler preparing for the Wrens’ second season in the North West Regional Premier League.