Joey Barton’s message to Fleetwood Town’s players after defeat at Coventry City

Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton

Fleetwood Town need to learn their lessons quickly if they want to become a champion team according to head coach Joey Barton.

The Town boss was frustrated with the way his side went down against Coventry, as they conceded a ninth minute lead to be defeated 2-1.

With another game quickly on the horizon, at home to MK Dons, Barton is grateful for the ‘relentless’ nature of League One.

He said: “The key is, this league is relentless and you get the opportunity to put it right.

“Frustration from our part, because we’re a better side in many aspects than our opposition here tonight and we come out empty-handed.

“That is not what champion teams do.

“Champions don’t give up soft points, soft goals, and until we stop doing that, we can’t consider – or attempt to consider – ourselves as a champion team.

“We have to learn those lessons, and the quicker we learn them, the quicker we can move on and assert what we think is the strength of our team in this division.”

Barton will have a full squad to select from when coming into the weekend’s game, with no knocks or injuries reported following the game at St Andrew’s.

Town have the busy fixture schedule to compete with as they prepare for their third game in seven days.

Barton was also pleased with the performance of Jack Sowerby who came in for his first start in the league since August 20.

Sowerby started in place of Paul Coutts, who was serving a suspension having picked up five yellow cards – but the midfielder will be back in contention this afternoon.

“Jack Sowerby came in and did a great job for him (Coutts),” Barton said.

“He got on the ball and played, certainly in the first period.

“He’s given me a real selection dilemma but you want all of your players available.

“It’s nice to have the full complement available to select from and that gives us the best chance of going to win the match on Saturday.

“We’ll assess the bodies and see how they come out of it.

“We’ll have a look at the energy levels because it’s a three-game week.

“We’ll make a decision once we find out that from the doctors.”

“I went to watch MK Dons at Rochdale and I’m looking forward to the game.

“They’ve got a tricky system.

“There’s loads of opportunities for us to create problems for them and we need to be on the front foot – and turn our stadium into a tough place for visiting teams.”