Joey Barton takes positives from Fleetwood Town’s Burnley meeting - and hints at more players to come in

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

Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton believed the midweek match against Burnley was an ideal way for his players to continue their pre-season preparations.

Town were beaten 2-0 by their Premier League opponents at Highbury on Tuesday with Barton taking the positives out of it.

“The reality for us is it’s a great acid test against areally good football team,” he said.

“They’re probably a week behind us as they start a week later, but even so, they’re still a Premier League side with established Premier League players and internationals, so it’s a great opportunity for our lads to test themselves and see if the hard work they’re putting in can pay off.

“A few lads will come out thinking ‘okay, I’ve got some attributes which maybe, if I keep developing, I can test myself on a more consistent basis against that level of player’.

“You’ve got to be mindful that the most important thing is the opening day, but we are moving in the right direction.”

Town fielded all six of their summer signings on Tuesday but Barton hinted some familiar faces may be returning.

He said: “The way we want to play has become a lot clearer, bringing your own players in contributes massively towards getting the right kind of football identity.

“It was important to get continuity so that’s why we brought Harry Souttar back, Lewie Coyle, and we will try to bring back another couple of the loan players we had last season.

“But it’s important to keep developing the side. The facilities here; the pitch is first class, the training pitch is first class.

“We want to play football in the right manner, and I know in League One it’s sometimes going to be impacted by the facilities of other teams you play, but we’ve got to have a plan B for that, and we’re trying to upskill our players in terms of football intelligence, and so far there are some really encouraging signs.

“I’m really looking forward to the opening day of the season.”