Joey Barton praised the Cod Army and said he’d rather be a supporter of Fleetwood than Blackpool because his side played the better football in the derby defeat.
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Ched Evans equalised before half-time from Ash Hunter’s left-footed cross, but Nathan Sheron’s straight red card in the 72nd minute swung the pendulum back in Blackpool’s favour and the hosts sealed the 2-1 win in stoppage time through Nathan Delfouneso.
Town boss Barton praised the 1,386 strong Cod Army for their support throughout the game and said: “That makes one hell of a difference. You saw Ched after his goal – he was buoyed by it. They know what the lads are giving on a daily basis.
“They know when they turn up that these lads never know when they are beaten.
“We were down to 10 men and scrapping until the end. With a bit more nous in the final couple of minutes I would have fancied us to see that game out.
“Blackpool did what they did for the 90 minutes, which was very much out of the Wimbledon copybook. Credit to them, they had a good crowd in here.
“If I was a supporter, I know which side I’d want to watch on a week by week basis because we play a lot more football than them.
“For me there is no doubt about it. We know who the better footballing side is, but we have been beaten and they are above us in the table. We have to accept it for what it is.
“We were both playing for nothing but local pride, and credit to Terry (McPhillips) and his boys – they get the bragging rights until we meet again next season.
“I thought we were not a derby anyway. Judging by some of their fans’ celebrations, it looked like it was a bit of a derby!”
Asked about the pitch invasion, Barton said: “I think there is a good rivalry between the two clubs. They are passionate football fans.
“While they should not enter the field of play, I do get that emotions are running high and they are probably a little bit overzealous.
“They were clearly desperate to beat us, as we were them.
“You cannot shoot yourself in the foot the way we did. You cannot give a penalty away and a red card. You are just asking to lose games.
“We nearly got a point out of it. It’s disappointing but loads of positive signs.
“The endeavour, togetherness, the good football played and the chances created give us lots to be optimistic about.”