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Barton: Winning physicality battle is key

Boss looks ahead to Carabao Cup tie against Crewe

13 August 2018

Head coach Joey Barton says it’s important that his side impose their physicality on Tuesday night, when Town travel to Crewe in the Carabao Cup first round.

Barton’s side will be looking to make history by becoming the first Fleetwood Town team to qualify for the second round of the competition in the club’s history.

Fresh from picking up his first three points as boss on Saturday at Oxford, Barton is optimistic ahead of the trip to Gresty Road.

“We are a League One side playing a League Two team, so it’s important we go there and try to impose ourselves in the game,” said Barton.

“But, they are a good side, and will be intent on winning the tie in the same way as we are. The cup runs are the lifeblood for teams like Crewe and ourselves, with cup runs contributing massively towards the budget throughout the season.

“We need to do what we did on Saturday; go and win the physicality battle, and our lads know all about that come 7:45pm on Tuesday evening.

“The main difficulty for me has been selected an 11 to start with, as every manager does throughout the country.

“It tends to take a period of games to figure out where the balance of the squad lies; you get a flavour for it in pre-season, but nothing is quite like the league campaign starting. We’re up and running in the league, we’ve got a real good starting block for the side, and we want to continue to learn and progress over the course of the football season.”

Goals from Ched Evans and Paddy Madden gave Barton his first victory in management on Saturday, with the Cod Army chief receiving a host of messages after the match.

“We were delighted to win the game, and I even got a few nice texts after the game!

“Sean Dyche text me saying Rome wasn’t built in a day – he said it took him seven games to get his first win in management and the rest for him is history.

“It’s nice to get that monkey off your back and get your first three points as a league manager, so that puts that to bed. But now, our focus now switches to Crewe in the EFL Cup, and getting a positive result.”

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