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Barton preparing for 'wounded animal' at Bristol Rovers

20 December 2018


Barton preparing for 'wounded animal' at Bristol Rovers

20 December 2018

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Joey Barton answered questions from the local media on Thursday morning ahead of the trip to Bristol Rovers in Sky Bet League One.

After a win last time out against Burton Albion in extremely difficult conditions, the Cod Army will be looking to make it back-to-back wins as they head to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday. 

See below the key quotes from the boss from his press conference at Poolfoot Farm…

On returning players…

“We have got more on the grass today. Obviously, you have to have a couple of days training at least before you can be considered for first team selection.

“So, we’ve got Morgs [Craig Morgan], Wes Burns and James Wallace pushing, they’ll be pushing to be back in contention. There will be more faces out there today which, from a managerial stand point, is always pleasing; because it gives you options in terms of the weekends fixture.”

On training, travelling and mixing up the schedule…

“We’ve gone from Wednesday being the rest day to Thursday, this week, due to the nature of the travel – the long away trips – we’ve had to adjust it and go back to the Wednesday.

“If we were to have the Thursday as the rest day, we don’t get very much training time on the Friday because we have to be on the road early. Or we have to train at someone else’s training ground.

“We just have to deal with what it is. Everybody is striving for the perfect formula for their football club. Do we think we’re closer to it now than what we were when we came in? Yeah, of course we do; and I’d expect to see a reduction in injuries going forward.

“You learn how and when to travel in a more efficient way. And it’s the subtleties of League One. Thankfully, Bristol is one of our last remaining treks into the wilderness of the UK! We’ve done Plymouth, we’ve done Southend, Gillingham and Sunderland so we have a lot shorter journeys in the New Year.”

On Bristol Rovers…

“They’ve given a really good account of themselves at Sunderland at the weekend and we expect nothing less. I think it’s going to be a really tough fixture; this league hasn’t thrown up many easy games for us.

“We’ve been good enough to blow a few sides out, some good sides, out of the water early doors. But on the whole, every game has had a real physical edge and a real closeness.

“We really have to focus on our strengths, that’s been the key takeaway this week from me. It’s hard to predict what Bristol are going to do because of the uncertainty about who is their leader at this moment in time, and they’re a wounded animal.

“We’ll focus on what we’re doing, if we do what we do really well, we’ve shown we’ll cause teams lots of problems.”

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