Joey Barton keeps feet on ground after top start for Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town celebrate their first goal of the season from Harry Souttar
Fleetwood Town celebrate their first goal of the season from Harry Souttar

Fleetwood Town are top of League One after the opening weekend but head coach Joey Barton stressed it will be a long season.

READ MORE: Joey Barton's verdict on victory at Peterborough
Town won their opener 3-1 at Peterborough thanks to goals from new signings Harry Souttar, Josh Morris and Danny Andrew.

Souttar’s third-minute header and Morris’ chip 10 minutes later saw Town cruise into control.

But Ivan Toney’s 67th- minute effort raised the tension until ex-Posh defender Andrew’s free-kick after 81 minutes put the game to bed.

Head coach Barton is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and said: “It is just three points. We will not get ahead of ourselves.

“There are some really good sides in this division. There’s a long way to go but it was a real positive performance.

“I think it will give everyone a boost and it kind of validates what we have been saying to the team. There’s nothing better for confidence than coming to tough places like Peterborough and winning in the manner we did.

“There is hard work to do. It will be an exciting season for sure. We want to learn the lessons from last season but we believe in ourselves. We just want to keep under the radar.”

New signing Peter Clarke, 37, got the nod over Ash Eastham in central defence, with Conor McAleny starting up front in preference to last season’s top scorer Paddy Madden.

Josh Morris was stretchered off in Town’s final pre-season friendly against Preston but was fit to start ahead of Ash Hunter, who scored the winner in that match.

Barton admitted chairman Andy Pilley showed surprise when he was told Saturday’s starting line-up.

The Town boss said: “We have competition for places.You cannot please everyone.

“As a manager, you know that if you don’t get a positive result questions are asked about your team selection.

“When I spoke to the chairman the other day he had a raised eyebrow about the team selection.

“But that is my job – my job is to make those calls along with the coaching staff.

“We sit and discuss it at length. We felt Ash Eastham, Ash Hunter and Paddy Madden were a bit unfortunate because they have done well in pre-season.

“They picked up knocks in the run-up to the Burnley game.

“That meant Ash Hunter was out, then we had to leave Paddy out and Ash Eastham felt his calf.

“The lads played superbly against Burnley and followed that up against Preston.

“The team for me was quite set. It picked itself.

“I know Josh had a bang but Ash Hunter also had a bang on his ankle.

“Both of them got through it and we felt we wanted a continuation of the good work that was done in pre-season.

“All the lads know it is a team and squad effort.

“I thought Paddy was superb coming on, along with Ash Hunter, who won the free-kick that Danny Andrew scored.

“Whether we go up this season, are in the promotion picture or just have a good season, it will be down to the squad and not just 11 players because this league is far too demanding.”