VIDEO: Why does Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton look as tired as Bagpuss?
It is not the stress of management and a team selection headache ahead of Saturday's clash against Rochdale. There's a simpler reason why Fleetwood Town boss Barton is so tired: kids.
The head coach, devoted family man and new dad explained how he spent his day off in London with two of his three children.
It has been a hectic time for Barton off the pitch as well as on it, juggling his first managerial role with the birth of his second son, Penn.
And when asked bluntly by our reporter if it was his first midweek match as a manager at Crewe that made him look so tired, Barton explained the reasons for his fatigue.
Barton took son Cassius, six, and daughter Pietà, four, to the Natural History Museum in London.
And after fielding questions about space and dinosaurs, the Town boss still had time to dissect both his own team and Saturday’s opponents Rochdale as he bids to make it three straight wins.
There’s no down-time as Barton is set to watch the League Cup second round draw and the Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday tie tonight.
But the hectic lifestyle does not faze the former Burnley and Manchester City man, who praised the people who work in the NHS as he said his hectic schedule is just part and parcel of football.
He said of that London trip: “I was up at 8am on the train going down, watched our game going down, sent all the clips, did the whole science, natural history and fed two kids, who asked a billion questions on the way round – ‘Why did we go to the moon?’
“We came back up, watched Rochdale v Peterborough and Rochdale v Burton on the train, which was delayed by 45 minutes. They are the trials and tribulations of being a football manager.
“We got in, put the kids to bed, showered them, got up this morning and picked up my other two kids, Clint Hill and Eddy Jennings, so now I have 28 kids to sort out this afternoon. It is what it is. That is what you do it for. You expect to be tired.
“You work long hours. By the time we got out of Crewe Tuesday night it was 11.30pm.
“You sit and talk to their coaching staff, just kicking the result round. Obviously they are disappointed but you are trying to chat through what has worked for them and talk through the courtesy of it.
“Then you have got to pick the bones out of your performance and give the lads some feedback about how we get better.
“Long hard hours but it is football. I’m not working down a mine – it is something I love doing.
“There are lots of people working in the NHS, a lot harder and longer than us, so no complaints.
“It would be easier if I did not have a six-week-old baby in the house who decides at 3am he does not like going to sleep.
“There are pros and cons for all of it. I’m not complaining, even if I do look like Bagpuss!”