New striker on Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton’s January shopping list?

Fleetwood Town's Ched Evans and Paddy Madden vie for possession with Charlton Athletic's Krystian Bielik
Fleetwood Town's Ched Evans and Paddy Madden vie for possession with Charlton Athletic's Krystian Bielik

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton will be looking into bringing in a striker as competition this January as he now understands why some of his former managers racked up the forwards.

Barton heads into his first Fylde coast derby day on the back of two straight defeats as they failed to score at Portsmouth and Peterborough United, losing 1-0 on both occasions.

He says he only has three recognised strikers on the books in Ched Evans, Paddy Madden and Chris Long.

Madden and Evans have 11 goals between them, while Long yet to open his account this season.

For good measure, Evans has missed three games in recovering from a shoulder problem, while Madden has missed two to leave Barton without his first choice pairing for five matches.

At Peterborough on Tuesday, Evans – who has netted just once in his last six games after scoring five in his opening six – returned as Madden was sidelined by a hamstring tightness.

Barton joked: “I said to Paddy and Ched the other day: ‘Do you two not get on? Do you not like each other?’

“Because it seems to be one is fit and the other is out.

“I thought after getting taken off as a substitute against Shrewsbury that Chris Long had a real good impact on the team when he came onto the pitch on Tuesday night.

“When we look at it, we only really have three strikers.

“They are the only three recognised strikers in the building.

“I think, in January, we need to look into that because many managers who I have worked for in the past have sometimes gone with six strikers.

“I always thought: ‘Why do you need six strikers? What is the thought process behind that?’

“Because it is such a high tariff part of the pitch those players – when they get in goalscoring streaks – can be worth their weight in gold.

“You have to have a number of bodies there because they are the most likely to suffer as we have seen with the likes of (Romelu) Lukaku.

“They can go on little dry spells because the most difficult thing to do in the game is score goals.

“You want to have an insulation in your squad to protect yourself in terms of maybe a striker picks up an injury or a dip in form so you do have players there to firstly drive the competition within that group but also be ready to come in and chip the ability into your team when maybe somebody else is struggling a little bit.”