Joey Barton claims Fleetwood Town should be in the top six given their prolific strikers

Fleetwood Town front pair Ched Evans and Paddy Madden
Fleetwood Town front pair Ched Evans and Paddy Madden

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton believes they should be in the play-offs given the calibre of strikers at their disposal.

The club hosts Bristol Rovers this afternoon, sitting 12th in League One despite seeing Paddy Madden and Ched Evans both on 18 goals for the season.

Ash Hunter and Wes Burns have nine and eight respectively but the next top scorer after that is Jason Holt with two.

Ten other players have netted one goal each with Town sitting on 56 goals from 43 league games.

That is not enough for Barton who wants more goals across the board next season.

“It is a nice barometer to see how you season has gone as a striker,” he said of a potential 20-goal season for Evans and Madden.

“Pad (Madden) did everything on Monday bar score.

“Again his work rate for the team and endeavour was first class.

“He has got 18 goals and contributed many times over in terms of his output.

“We just need to get more goals from elsewhere.

“We cannot be too reliant on our goalscorers because they have done what they need to do.

“They are close to hitting that 20-goal mark; you have two 20 goal-strikers in your team, you should be in the play-offs.

“It is the rest of the side that need to step up.

“To be fair to Wes and Ash Hunter they have shown that they have the capability of getting the goals.

“You need between 60 and 80 goals to get promoted. Now it is on the rest of the team to do that.

“For me the centre-halves have not scored enough goals.

“The full-backs have barely scored any goals.

“Hubby (James Husband) has one, Coyley (Lewie Coyle) has gone close a few times. We need more goals from midfield.

“There’s loads to be positive about and loads to work on.”