Joey Barton sat down with the local media on Friday to preview Saturday’s Sky Bet League One fixture with Burton Albion at Highbury.
Barton’s side will be looking to build on a five match unbeaten run at home, when they welcome The Brewers to the Fylde Coast.
See below the key areas covered by the Cod Army head coach during his press conference at Poolfoot Farm…
“Obviously we lost Hubby [James Husband] and Wes last week – Hubby during the game and Wes the day before. Lewie Coyle had a problem with his rib, but trained on Wednesday so we’re expecting him to be fine.
“A couple of lads are having a couple of precautionary fitness tests this morning to make sure they’re fine. It will probably be too soon for Hubby and Wes due to the nature of the knock they’ve picked up. It’s frustrating, but we have to adjust and we’ll make a decision on the team after training today.”
On comparisons drawn with Saturday’s opponents Burton…
“The two clubs closely chart either one when you think about it. Burton had a spike and had a couple of seasons up in the Championship, and came back down. Fleetwood went past them at one point, then Burton went past them, so I can see why Nigel [Clough] would say we are similar.
“Historically over the last decade both clubs have been disruptors in terms of where they have come from. For us, you want to look at the Burton success model with our similar footprint to get into the Championship.”
On Burton’s threats…
“They are a good side having dropped out of the Championship last season. They have some good players – players I’ve played against like Stephen Quinn – it will be a challenge.
“I’m finding out with League One that every game has its subtleties, but every game is really competitive. The league is starting to take shape as we get towards Christmas, with the big teams with the big budgets going towards the top of the division and it’s up to the rest of us to stick with them.
“We want to keep jostling for those play-off places.”
On getting back playing after last Saturday’s loss to Luton…
“It’s good to be back playing – our lads have responded well to any setback we’ve had. I look at the Luton game – who are second in the table with the best home record in the division – and I thought we were really poor.
“I know that if we’re great, we can cause anybody problems. However if we’re below par and shoot ourselves in the foot like we did against Luton, any game is difficult.
“Our focus this week has been on controlling our output and our performance and what we can do. This is a group which is in a learning process, and we need to remember that.”