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Barton: We're proud to make history

Boss gives his verdict on cup victory at Crewe

15 August 2018

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Joey Barton saw his side progress to the second round of the Carabao Cup for the first time ever after beating Crewe Alexandra on penalties at Gresty Road on Tuesday night.

After Crewe took a first half lead, substitute Jason Holt scored a second half equaliser from a brilliant long-range effort to make it 1-1. With the scores level after 90 minutes the game went straight to penalties, and Ashley Hunter slotted the winner to send Town through to the next round.

See below the key quotes from Joey’s post-match press conference.

On an historic win…

“Last week we had the first academy player to make an appearance in the league, and this is another first, that's the beauty of being at a club like Fleetwood. There is a lot of history out in front of us, and the owner is a very ambitious man.

“The lads have got the job done tonight. I thought we were absolutely superb, and anybody who was at the game tonight knows we were more than worthy winners.”

On missed early chances…

“That’s the game of football, credit to Crewe. I said to the lads at half time we just need a little more quality in there.

“Conor McAleny hits the post and it comes out, I think if that goes in its probably a long, hard night for Crewe due to our quality.

“But they stayed in the tie, bit of a scrappy set play that I think we could’ve defended better. They get their noses in front, albeit against the balance of how the game was.

“We challenged the lads at half time to take it on, we said that is club football, sometimes things don't go your way. I thought second half we were absolutely scintillating at times.”

On super-sub Jason Holt…

“He’s a tremendous player. That was the reason we wanted to bring him to the football club. After we made a lot of changes to the squad such is my confidence in the squad, we’ve got some good players at this football club and we were confident to get them in.

“The wee man comes on and showcases just what a phenomenal little player he is. He should’ve had a second goal, we looked back at the incident and he was actually level, which we felt in real time.

“The officials on the balance of it did relatively well, but they've got to get key decisions like that. As it is, justice prevails because the better team on the night won.

“Alex Cairns pulled off a save that is worthy to win any cup tie. On the whole, really delighted to get in the next round of the cup, but it just shows the strength in depth that we’ve got at this football club.”

On squad strength…

“With the team in the early stage of season, places are up for grabs. I spoke to the lads before and said every day is a job interview, and it really is.

“Were at the stage where we’ve got real competition for places, loads of options, we’re getting lads coming back to fitness. Chris Long gets on the pitch, he’s missed a body of training. I thought Harrison Biggins in central midfield today was excellent, for a young lad I thought he was absolutely outstanding.

“Wes Burns, Paddy Madden lead the line as skipper tonight, and I think he set the tone for the whole squad. Then we see the quality of Cain Bolger and Tommy Spurr, that real assurance in the back line, I thought they were superb marshaling the defence.

“So a real good team performance, as I say were a little disappointed we didn't win it in 90 minutes but thankfully we get the game and get ourselves in the hat for the second round.

“We’re starting to see the hard work, the planning and the execution now onto the pitch, which is always pleasing as a group of coaches. We’ve got a great group in there, a real team, real set of men, and they’re open to learning which is important.

"That's why they get the rewards of being the first Fleetwood side to get into the next round of the cup, a little bit of history."

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