Honesty is the best policy for Fleetwood Town boss Barton
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says that insight from Burnley boss Sean Dyche will help him to be honest with players when it comes to team selection.
Barton takes charge of Town for the first time against AFC Wimbledon tomorrow with plenty of decisions to make.
All of Barton’s attackers, aside from Chris Long (blister), are in form and raring to go.
The battle at the back is also an intriguing one with all four candidates for the two centre-half roles – Craig Morgan, Tommy Spurr, Cian Bolger and Ash Eastham – failing to impress in their starts at Morecambe and Chorley.
Lewie Coyle looks to have claimed the right-back jersey ahead of Gethin Jones, while on the other flank, Eddie Clarke did not perhaps do enough at Chorley to usurp Joe Maguire, over whom a few question marks remain.
Kyle Dempsey has to start in midfield but then it is a choice between youth in Harrison Biggins and Nathan Sheron or experience in Bobby Grant and Dean Marney – though it may be too soon for the latter who hasn’t played a league game since picking up a knee injury playing for Burnley at Arsenal last year.
Barton said: “The main thing I took from Sean Dyche was ‘just be a good man.’
“Communicate, be truthful, do not tell the player one thing and an agent another, just be dead straight down the line.
“If people are in the dark that leads to confusion and that leads to negativity.
“So long as you are straight down the line most lads know where they are at on the training ground.
“What they are then looking for is communication, how do they close the gap?
“It is when people feel like they are not listened to or heard and ignored; that is when you usually get problems and that is the big take out I got from Dyche.”
Barton did stress, however, that if his players do not start tomorrow, it is not the end of the world with a long season to come across a number of competitions.
He said: “We have explained to the lads that if we are going to have a successful season, with 46 league games guaranteed and three cup competitions there is a major body of games that have to be played and they come thick and fast.
“For us to be successful across all of those formats we are going to need a squad and I think the lads are aware of that.
“The difficulty for us is so many players have done well this pre-season.
“To whittle that down to a starting XI and obviously a bench from that is difficult.”