Fleetwood Town won their fifth pre-season friendly ahead of the new season after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Sky Bet League Two side Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
Kyle Dempsey’s first half strike gave the Cod Army the lead going in at the break, and it was new signing Ched Evans – who scored with one of his first touches – who sealed the win at Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Head Coach Joey Barton was pleased with his side’s hard work and performance, and here is what he had to say in his post-match interview:
Barton on the performance…
“I am happy with certain parts of the game. Tranmere are good opposition and are a team that are well organised.
“Micky Mellon always has his teams fit and up for the match and that was very clear to see today, so to come to their place and keep a clean sheet and win the game, it was very important for us.
“It was just as important as us getting people minutes under their belt, which is the most important thing during pre-season campaign.”
Barton on seeing what is worked on in training, being used in the game…
“Yes it was really good to see. There were some good phases, good little in and out with some one and two touch play in and around their box and maybe we could have done more with the chances we created.
“We said to the lads at half-time that about using it better, however to be fair to Tranmere, and I do believe they played the strongest side they could, they altered their shape to cope with the way we were playing.
“It was a really good test for us against good quality opposition.”
Barton on Kyle Dempsey’s goal and performance…
“Kyle has the ability, and we’ve got many good players who can play in those wide slots with Conor McAleny, Ash Hunter, Bobby Grant and Wes Burns. Bobby Grant also came onto the pitch later on and made a great impact.
“Kyle got his goal and his all-round good place was there, and it’s really pleasing to see.
“We are starting to get competition for places, which I believe is healthy competition and the lads are really at it.
“Everybody is obviously competing to make sure they start the season in their roles."
Barton on Ched Evans and his debut goal…
“In the buildup it was great work by Wes Burns, he didn’t get disappointed and won the ball back. He managed to get the other side of the defender, harass the mistake and then had the ability and the quality to get his head up and pick out Ched.
“Ched made a great run inside the box and finished off the move as we know he can, and with Paddy Madden and Ashley Nadesan in competition for that number nine spot, we are really in a healthy position and the players are coming on and making an impact.
“All of this is really good for us as a team.”
Barton on the team shaping up ahead of the first game of the season…
“I think everyone is still fighting for spots and you want people to take the jersey and cement their place in the team, and say look, I am here and I’m not coming out.
“In the nature of a pre-season game, you are constantly adjusting the team to get the required minutes under their belts.
“We had a really tough training week, especially Wednesday being difficult for them and we saw that when 60 minutes ticked over, a few were still feeling the effects of the mammoth session.
“To get minutes for those on the bench, and take the performance on, with the likes of Wes [Burns] and Ched [Evans] both combining for the goal.
“I thought the others came on really added to what we were doing the first period.”