Joey Barton: I do not know if Bobby Grant has a future at Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says he does not know whether midfielder Bobby Grant has a future at the club.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 6:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th October 2018, 6:08 pm
Bobby Grant

The midfielder, 28, has been left out of the squad for the last two games after a “disagreement” with Barton over team selection.

As Town prepare to visit Doncaster, Barton says his players have responsibilities.

Asked whether Grant, who is one of the club’s longest-serving players, had a future at the club Barton said: “I don’t know. That will play itself out going forward.

“The key thing is we want players who want to be here and want to be part of the team.

“Sometimes you are best served coming off the bench and making an impact in a game. We want people who are committed fully to the team.

“I’m not saying that Bobby is not. I’m just saying we want everyone to be all in.

“I don’t want players happy and cracking jokes when they are not selected, but I do not expect them to be negative and put people down.

“There is a responsibility to be a player at this club. If they are met, you will be embraced; if they are not, you will not last long here.”

Asked if Grant would be on the coach to the Keepmoat, Barton added: “That will have to play itself out. We will have a chat about it and hopefully it will resolve itself.

“You want as many players available for selection as possible, certainly when it comes to experienced players. Bob is in that category.

“He is someone I have always had a good relationship with, so the sooner that plays out the better for the well-being of the squad.

“My focus is on lads who are going to play and are buying into it.”

Grant is not the only senior player without minutes in recent weeks. Twenty -year-old centre-back Nathan Sheron was preferred to Cian Bolger against Wycombe, while another key figure of the Uwe Rosler regime, Kyle Dempsey, has also been out of favour.

Barton says he would not be doing his job properly if he went for the easy option and stressed his desire to give youth a chance.

He said: “We want young, hungry players who want to compete for this football club because they will be the lifeblood going forward.

“We are trying to get that balance between those senior figures –your Ross Wallaces and Ryan Taylors – and your Nathan Sherons.

“It would have been easy for me to roll out an experienced player against Akinfenwa on Tuesday because we had lost two on the spin and the panic sets in, but I would not be doing my job properly if that was the case.”