Joey Barton feels it is Fleetwood Town against the world as he thanked the Cod Army for their support.
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In his first game since the Barnsley tunnel assault allegations, the Town crowd chanted “Joey Barton’s Red and White Army” after Ash Hunter levelled in injury time against Peterborough on Friday.
The Cod Army backed that up on Monday, when more than 1,300 fans cheered Barton’s side in defeat at Bloomfield Road.
As Fleetwood prepare to host Bristol Rovers on Saturday, Barton said: “I’m always delighted to see that (support).The support from the fans means a lot to the players and to us as a coaching staff. I think they see what we are trying to do at Fleetwood.
“We are trying to blood the young players. Very few times have I been disappointed in the players and the way they have applied themselves to virtually every match.
“I’d love to be a Fleetwood Town supporter because this team keeps giving and keeps fighting. I think it represents the town in lots of ways.
“It certainly feels with some of the refereeing decisions that it is us against the world but we have to harness that and foster it.
“They (the fans) were out in their numbers on Monday. They will be devastated that we lost.
“But they know the lads put one hell of a shift in for them. They know this team does not lie down, does not take a backwards step.
“We have loads of senior players out and we have to accept we lost the game, but there is lots to be optimistic about if you are a Fleetwood Town fan. I’d rather support Fleetwood than Blackpool.”
“Blackpool are built on a solid defensive platform. They are a very competitive side and have done incredibly in the circumstances to foster their team spirit.”
Barton felt the dismissal of Nathan Sheron was a turning point, adding: “A lack of judgment in the middle of the park, where a player committed to a challenge and we find ourselves at a numerical disadvantage.
“It was warm, it is a derby, there is a lot of emotional energy as well as the physical energy, and you cannot be down to 10 men for 30 minutes.
“I think Shez is a great kid but you cannot put your team at a numerical disadvantage. You just cannot tackle like that any more. Those days are gone.”