Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the press ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League One match against Portsmouth.
Barton’s side have won their last two league matches against Doncaster Rovers and Shrewsbury Town, and are now back on the road this weekend to face top of the table Portsmouth.
Town have a great record away from home and will take a lot of confidence from the 4-0 away win at the Keepmoat Stadium, but Barton knows it will be a tough test for his group of players, but one he knows they can go there and pick up all three points.
Here are the key quotes from Joey’s press conference…
On what he expects from Portsmouth this weekend…
“I expect Portsmouth to play a 4-2-3-1 formation.
“They will look to get the ball out wide to the wide areas as quick as they can as they want to try and spread the opposition team out. Their centre-halves will try and come out with the ball and there is some rotation in midfield too, with their number ten running on.
“That is what we expect.”
On the confidence within the squad...
“We had that in our squad anyway, and we do have that mentality that we can go and win any game. Portsmouth are top of the table at the minute, and their manager Kenny Jacket – who I know well as he was the reserve team manager at Man City when I was there.
“He is a good guy, he has good principles about how he wants his team to go and play but it is a team we know we can go and beat. They sit top of the pile but they haven’t played any of the big boys bar Peterborough.
“We will find out more about where we are in the mix, but we’ve been good on the road, so have Portsmouth and both teams could probably be better at home.
“Fratton Park is a good place to go and play football, it is a good pitch and that should suit us and from our results away from home, we have showed that we are not afraid of that.”
On the back of two wins…
“You always want that settled side, that continuity is always great to have but there are players like Conor McAleny and Dean Marney, who are out training on the pitch and with the more players you have fit and ready available, it creates competition for places.
“The football does tend to sort it out and when the team are winning and those players are fit, the team will pick itself and that creates that continuity within the group. This is something that we haven’t had for some reason and when I look back to the Burnley days, we didn’t have that until January and then went on a 23 game stretch.
“It was balance and settled side, and that is what we need this season to win as many games as possible as we can.”