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Barton: First home clean sheet positive to take from Walsall point

17 November 2018


Barton: First home clean sheet positive to take from Walsall point

17 November 2018

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Joey Barton praised his side’s defensive shift saw Fleetwood secure a 0-0 draw with Sky Bet League One rivals Walsall at Highbury on Saturday.

The Cod Army kept their first clean sheet at home this season, with Jason Holt, Ross Wallace and Paddy Madden all going close, as Town’s had the better of the chances but couldn’t capitalise to take all three points. 

See Joey’s post match reaction below…

On getting just a point today…

“I’m disappointed because I think on a balance of play we had so many good opportunities, the keeper (Liam Roberts) makes an incredible save from Ross Wallace at the back post. Ash Hunter’s opportunity forced a great block from their lad. You know the game’s going to be tight and you’re waiting for an opportunity and you want your leading goalscoring to get that, it was a great pull back from Ched and Paddy is in the right place but just doesn’t manage to hit the target.

“I said to the boys at half time it was probably going to be a 1-0 game so make sure you’re switched on at set plays, for and against. On the balance of play a clean sheet for us is a bonus, first one at home this season and another point on the board.”

On the performance… 

“It was a game where both teams were trying to win the game, but also both teams were trying not to lose the game. I saw the stat come out that we have scored the most goals in the first half of anyone in the country and I thought, well there’s the commentators curse, we probably aren’t going to score and that turned out to be the case at half time.

“There were some good defensive shifts from the boys, I think we had to defend 13 corners in total, so yeah pleasing aspects of it but obviously disappointed not to win the game.”

On squad depth and players returning from injury…

When you’ve got good players trying to fight to get into the starting eleven, we’ve had Conor McAleny recently come back to fitness and obviously him and Ash Hunter compete for a similar position on the team. So if Ash is not having his most productive afternoon, it’s great to look on the bench and see a player of Conor’s calibre and give him an opportunity to go on and show us what he can do and the key for us here at Fleetwood is the team and the squad.

“If we are going to get where we need to go and achieve what we need to achieve it will be on a team platform rather than any individual superstar basis.”

On the team’s first clean sheet at Highbury this season…

“Everybody has got through the game with their fitness intact, we had a couple of lads, for example Cian Bolger, playing his fourth game in about ten days, so yeah there’s lots of pleasing aspects defensively but obviously the games that we think we are more than capable of winning if we are at our best.

“I think for periods today certainly in the first period we were slightly under par, but pleasing to get a clean sheet and pleasing to get another point on the board and we keep moving forwards."

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