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Barton: It will be a tricky tie on Sunday

9 November 2018

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Head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup first round tie against Alfreton Town.

Barton – who has had plenty of experience in the FA Cup as a player – takes his side to the Impact Arena on Sunday to face off against the National League North side.

Here are some of the best quotes from the head coach’s press conference…

On taking the game serious…

“It’s cup football against very motivated fans in the stadium, and against some very motivated players, who have probably taken a couple days off work this week. It will be a massive occasion for them, but our lads have to stay aware that it’s a big occasion for us as well. It’s cup football and we want to have a good run in the cup this year and the beauty of it is, we get a strong side we take the FA Cup serious because we have to. It’s a competition that is the lifeblood of clubs like Fleetwood Town.”

On FA Cup memories…

“I loved the FA Cup growing up as a kid. I remember the street parties when Everton played Liverpool in ’89. I’m old enough, grey-haired enough, to remember the FA Cup being the thing to win. It has changed slightly due to the rise of the Champions League and the Premier League but that doesn’t alter for us old romantics as the FA Cup’s a phenomenal opportunity for the smaller clubs at this stage, the first round, to play league sides and to start up a cup run. Then for sides like Fleetwood, as the competition progresses, you can test yourselves against the big boys out there. This club had a good run last year, but we have to be mindful not to look past Alfreton as it will be a tricky tie on Sunday.”

On this week’s learning curve…

“This week has been a great growth week for us as we’re at a lovely junction where I think the next two weeks will tell whether we are contenders or pretenders. That’s been the take out this week as it will answer the question ‘are we the real deal?’ and I feel that this week has been a real learning curve for the group, and a lot of it has been positive. Loads of the lads are looking forward to getting to Sunday, whilst we know it’s the FA Cup and there are banana skins out there for league sides playing non-league sides, but it is a good opportunity for us to bounce back from a disappointing league result.”

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