Pilley: Trust me, Joey is the right man
Andy Pilley has urged the Cod Army to trust his judgement and ask Burnley fans about Joey Barton if they doubt he is the right man to take Fleetwood Town forward.
Pilley has invested in excess of £40m to get Town to League One and revealed on Wednesday that Barton, 35, will take over as head coach at Town in June following his ban for breach of betting rules.
The midfielder has visited Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex this season and is a friend of club owner Pilley, having almost signed the club on loan in 2012.
Barton silenced his critics in east Lancashire by becoming a key player in the Clarets’ promotion to the Premier League in 2016.
Pilley said: “I think the fans should certainly trust in me.
“I’m not daft. I’m not going to appoint someone just because I get on with him. I’ve got lots of friends but I’m not going to make them manager!
“It has got to be the right man for the job. Joey is the right man for the job.
“There was a lot of concern when he first went to Burnley and I don’t think the Burnley fans were convinced he was the man to be a big part of their future. But Burnley supporters are unanimous now that he is a great guy. He has been fantastic for them.
“He played a really big part in them winning the Championship and getting promoted to the Premier League, and staying there last season as well.
“You ask Burnley fans about Joey Barton (above) and they will say the same as myself.”
And Pilley says he is not concerned about Barton’s chequered past, only about the future and what Barton can bring to his football club.
He added: “I think every appointment is a gamble. Not every appointment is guaranteed to work out.
“I’m not concerned about his past because I know him and I think the public perception is not the Joe I know.
Everybody has made mistakes in the past and I’m not overtly concerned about what has happened. It is the future that I’m concerned about. For so many reasons I’m convinced the future will be bright with Joey Barton.”
Pilley says he expects a Barton team to have a good work ethic, though they have not discussed what type of football he plans to play.
He said: “I haven’t had that conversation in any great detail, but I would say that having standards, doing the basics right and having the right characters and work ethic are what I would expect a team from Joey to deliver.
“The finer details remain to be seen but I’m confident he will do well, I’m very excited.”