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Nicholson: Joey Barton has galvanised Fleetwood Town’s staff and players

Barry Nicholson has learned from new head coach Joey Barton
Barry Nicholson has learned from new head coach Joey Barton

Joey Barton is the fourth man Barry Nicholson has worked under as a coach at Fleetwood Town and the Scot praised the new boss for his man-management skills.

Barton, 36, has just taken on his first head coach role at Fleetwood, losing only two of his first nine League One games. Prior to Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Southend, the previous league defeat was to AFC Wimbledon on the opening day.

Barton brought in Clint Hill and Steve Eyre as coaches and Nicholson says they have blended well with himself and goalkeeping coach David Lucas.

Ex-Rangers and Preston midfielder Nicholson was brought to Town in 2014 by Graham Alexander, who offered him the chance to turn his hand to coaching. The 40-year-old has not looked back, advancing to first-team coach under Steven Pressley, Uwe Rosler, John Sheridan and now Barton.

Nicholson says he has learned from all he has worked with and he praised Barton.

He said: “The managers have all taken note of loads of good stuff that I will use in the future.

“The manager (Barton) has galvanised the whole of the backroom staff together as well as the dressing room and the training ground. There is a real positive vibe around the place.

“He has just allowed people to get on with their jobs. Myself and Clint, Steve Eyre and Dave Lucas have all got a really good rapport on the training ground.

“We work really hard together to get the best out of the lads on the training ground, then try to get the tactical side right to win games.

“He has brought a great spirit to the group. The way he speaks to players, gets them on board and engages them in staff and team meetings has been exceptional.

“We are all here to support him and make sure we get the results for him to do well in the job.”

Town have won one and drawn two at Highbury since the opening-day defeat and, as they prepare to welcome seventh-placed Barnsley this weekend, Nicholson says consistency will be key to a successful season.

He added: “We have to get our home form turned around and make sure people don’t like coming to our place.

“I think most of the teams that have gone up from this division in the recent past have been really consistent home and away.

“They have not really had really good home form or a poor away record.

“It is all about getting the consistency right wherever you play and that’s what we are hoping to do.”