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Barton: Performances are causing me selection headaches

Boss reacts to another pre-season triumph

28 July 2018

Joey Barton saw his side pick up a sixth straight pre-season victory on Saturday, with a 3-1 victory at Morecambe.

Goals from Conor McAleny, Wes Burns and Bobby Grant saw Town win their sixth pre-season match 3-1 against Morecambe at the Globe Arena with a week to go until the start of the new campaign.

Here’s what Joey had to say after the match…

On the result…

“Morecambe are a good side who know what to do and that is why they’ve been in the football league a very long time.

“They were fit, well organised and gave my team a very good test ahead of our first league match next week.

“The wind today, and on the North West played a part in today’s game and I felt it really was a game of two halves. First half we had the breeze and then it changed around to us being against it.

“I am disappointed to concede the goal, and I think the wind played a factor in that but overall the lads were very professional and we’ve got through it with everybody intact.

On the goals scored against Morecambe and over pre-season…

“Conor McAleny is always capable of scoring goals and get his today. He did miss probably an easier chance earlier which is unlike him, and Ched probably deserves a goal and on another day he scores.

“Wes Burns scored a really good header and he knows where the back of the net is and if I was being negative, the only negative was that Morecambe managed to score a goal, where Bobby [Grant] and Nathan Sheron maybe could have done a bit better to clear the ball.

“Now with a week to go, hopefully we can iron out the mistakes and those little creases and start to get more minutes under our belt at Chorley and then into our league match.

“Everybody is itching to get it [the season] underway.”

Barton on the competitive nature of the game…

“I don’t think there are ‘pre-season friendlies’, especially when you play against teams in and around you, and when there’s a bit of a rivalry between the two teams.

“There were lads out there for Morecambe who wanted to make an impression and show that they can compete with boys from a division above, which is our boys.

“We were well prepared today and if you are going to win a league title or get promoted or have any positive progress in a season, you need to fight fire with fire.

“Yes we want to get the ball down and play, but we understand that if there’s conditions like today, we need to go back to basics and compete.”

Barton on a selection problem ahead of the league opener…

“The great thing about this is that we have another game on Monday and players have the chance to get further minutes under their belt.

“We have selection dilemmas which is what we want and most managers would want options from all different positions, and we are fortunate to have that.

“The lads have been fantastic, we have a fit and healthy squad and that gives us a chance to go and have opening game to the season against AFC Wimbledon.”​


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