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Club News

Barton boosts Town

1 August 2012

Joey Barton played his first 45 minutes of pre-season in Glasgow on Tuesday.

By Derick Thomas

Joey Barton played his first 45 minutes of pre-season in Glasgow on Tuesday. 

The Queens Park Rangers midfielder is currently training with League 2 Fleetwood Town to kick-start his pre-season fitness. “It feels painful and I’m a little bit stiff. This was only my 5th day of pre-season after 8 or nearly 9 weeks sitting with my feet up after the exploits of Premier League season last year. It’s just good to get going again. The body aches but its part and parcel of the job. It’s part of the game none of us like but it’s a necessary evil to be ready for when the games come at the start.” Barton was pleased to play for 45 minutes against Kilmanock at the Scottish League Cup holders training ground in Glasgow. “I really enjoyed the game. It’s nice to play with a team who like to get the ball down and pass. There are some really good players at Fleetwood and I really enjoyed it. It will take me while to get up to speed. I think I’m 3 or 4 weeks behind some of these lads. “They have been away in Austria and doing quite an intensive pre-season programme. This was about their 3rd or 4th game now and you can see that. They are really sharp and starting to look like a team. It was just a pleasure to be out there and get a sweat on. It’s a start to that much-needed fitness and that’s the whole reason of coming to Fleetwood.” The Premiership player felt Fleetwood will take plenty of encouragement into Saturday’s home friendly against Tranmere Rovers. “I’m not being unfair to Kilmarnock if I say 4-0 flattered them. It could have been 6, 7 or 8 and that was a testament to the football the lads played. Certainly the lads in the first half had a couple of good chances. In the second half when I was involved the lads created some really good chances.  I certainly think Fleetwood can take a lot of positives out of the game. There was some good passages of play and, when I was watching in the first half, it made it more pleasing been part of the second half.” Barton was a spectator for last Friday’s home defeat against League 1 Oldham Athletic and said Town took that game as a wake-up call. “I watched the Oldham game and everyone involved with the club was disappointed with the level of performance. Pre-season is about fitness and we had done fitness work a couple of days before the game. That means you start the match a little bit tired from the sessions. That’s pre-season and it’s more about fitness than the level of performance. “But it’s always good to put game time under your belt like the lads have done. You then start seeing patterns of play emerge and, more importantly scoring goals and winning games.  Winning is a really good habit to get into and the sooner you do that then the better. If Fleetwood can build a little bit of momentum going into the Nottingham Forest and Torquay games with a win against Tranmere, which will be a test, then they will hopefully be off to a flying start in the League Cup and League 2 campaign.”

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