Joey Barton says it has been business as usual and that Fleetwood Town have had a positive week on the training ground after allegations of assault involving him and Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel
The Gazette was handed a piece of paper before the Barton’s pre-match press conference with a statement from him on the allegations.
It read: “With regards to the alleged incident on Saturday following our game against Barnsley, I emphatically deny the allegations made.
“Given this matter has not been formally closed, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further comment.”
The local media were also informed that Barton would not answer any questions on the incident due to legal reasons after releasing the statement.
However, Barton did answer questions about whether the allegations had impacted the build-up to Friday’s game against Peterborough United and what the atmosphere had been like at the club.
When asked what the atmosphere was like, Barton replied: “Normal, absolutely normal.
“Nothing too dissimilar other than sort of long conversations with the coaching staff based on what players we have available and what team we are thinking about putting out and what we can do as opposed to what we want to do in terms of team selection.
“Apart from that, it has been run of the mill."
Is it business as usual focusing on the two games this Easter weekend?
He answered: "Yeah.
“That is my focus all week.
“It makes no difference to me, my focus is on preparing a team to perform and take maximum points.
“From my perspective as a coach we have had, on the training pitch, a really positive week.
“We are intent on getting over the disappointment of not getting any points at the weekend by getting some points this weekend.”
Barton says his players are fully aware of the allegations but that their minds are focused on the Peterborough game.
Speaking about the recent media coverage, he said: “The world we live in now is very much online and very much instantaneous.
“It is difficult to keep things the way they should be kept in this modern era.
“That is the nature of it, it is what it is.
“Players are fully aware of most things that go on in the world, such is the nature of social media.
“It is just keeping the minds firmly fixed on what are the priorities.
“For us it is the football and keeping them focused on performing because for those boys we still have games to fulfil.
“They have still got the opportunity to showcase themselves to us as a coaching staff and the lads who are on loan to show to their parent clubs they can play week in, week out.
“There is a lot to play for, for us.”
He added: “There are just so many media channels.
“It is what it is. It is just the nature of the beast really. You have to accept it for what it is.
“There is no point in me trying to change it because such a small part of it that it is just the world that we live in unfortunately.
“I do not see that changing in the foreseeable future. It is what it is and get on with it.”
Has he been disappointed by the media reaction?
He said: “It is what it is, it is strange times that we live in at the moment.
“It is part of the pantomime that goes on in and around certain aspects of my life. You just have to get on with it.”