REACTION: Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton and Neal Ardley reflect on AFC Wimbledon's 1-0 win at Highbury

He is famed for his fiery nature but Joey Barton was philosophical after his first league game as Fleetwood Town boss ended in a 1-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon.

Saturday, 4th August 2018, 8:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th August 2018, 8:33 pm
Joey Barton and Neal Ardley

Joe Pigott's 60th minute close range effort was the difference at Highbury as 35-year-old Barton manned his first game in the dug-out.

But the new boss was left cursing lady luck as Town started the new League One season with a defeat.

His mantra is you win or you learn and he now wants his men to learn from this when they head to Oxford next Saturday.

He said: “Obviously I would have wanted it to have ended in a victory but the lads gave us everything in terms of effort and endeavour.

“They could have played better but you have to give credit to Wimbledon, they manfully and stoically defended their goal at times.

“Sometimes you need a little bit of luck in football and a bit of a helping hand, and on another day we certainly could have had that.

“Credit to Wimbledon, they defended their goal superbly and we have a starting point to work from now.

“It's important that we review, reflect and learn the lessons and we move forward to Oxford now and hopefully we will get a positive result."

His opposite number Neal Ardley echoed Barton's praise for his defence and he praised new Rotherham loan signing Ben Purrington for his role in the goal.

He said: "All round a very solid, decent performance.

"The only criticism is that we did not take those couple of chances in the last couple of minutes.

"Ben had a great debut, Andy Barcham does brilliantly to get on the cross and Joe Pigott does what he does best he scores goals.

"I thought at the other end their one real moment when they thought they scored from a Bobby Grant long range shot.

"There is not much you can do if you are beaten by a long range shot.

"Other than that I thought we defended brilliantly."