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Barton: Let's impose our style on Gillingham

Boss looks ahead to Saturday's long trip to face Gills

2 November 2018

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Joey Barton says he is looking for his side to impose their style of play on Gillingham, when the Cod Army travel to Kent on Saturday.

Barton has overseen impressive victories on the road at Oxford United, Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers this season, with an aggregate score of 11-0 in his team’s favour.

After making history and beating local rivals Blackpool last weekend, Barton has called on his side to back that performance up with three points at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.

“We feel that the longer the campaign goes on, we will become stronger as a group. We as a group are thoroughly enjoying it and if we keep progressing, we will achieve what we want to achieve.

“There is no good in beating Blackpool if we’re not going to beat Gillingham, and we’re going down there with the ambition to win,” stated Barton.

“They are a side that know what they want to do. They have a big target man in Tom Eaves – who’s scored a lot of goals at this level – and we know that we need to take care of him because he has the capability to put the ball in the net.

“In this league, teams are closely matched. We have studied Gillingham, but we are focused on what we can do because we know we have great quality in our group. It’s important that we impose our style on them.”

Town’s head coach may have the luxury of naming an unchanged side for the first time in his reign, as well as having a couple of players back from injury.

“We’ve got a few players coming back,” confirmed the Cod Army boss.

“We’ve had a couple out for a little longer such as Conor McAleny and James Wallace. Paddy [Madden] missed out on starting on Saturday, but we always had it in our minds that we would put him into the game because we know what a good player is. He proved that by putting one in the top corner!

“Compared to this time last week we were a couple of bodies down, so it’s nice for us. We beat Blackpool who were unbeaten in 11 games at the time, and we saw that the lads performed brilliantly to win the game.

“Our problem this week is how do we get seven players into five, because with players coming back, we have selection dilemmas which is great for a manager. It’s a problem we’ve not had in recent weeks with so many players injured.”

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