Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media at Poolfoot Farm on Thursday morning ahead of the match against local rivals Accrington Stanley.
John Coleman brings his team to Highbury Stadium this Saturday in the Lancashire Derby clash, with both Town and Stanley enjoying good starts to the season.
Fleetwood’s last match saw them pick up a point on the road at Sunderland in the 1-1 draw. Paddy Madden scored the opening goals of the match from close range, heading the ball home from Ash Hunter’s corner. Josh Maja levelled the scoring moments before half-time, and with both teams having chances, it finished a goal apiece.
Town played Leicester City’s U21s in the Checkatrade on Tuesday evening, with Barton making ten chances to the side, with three academy players making the bench including 16-year-old Dylan Boyle. There were a lot of positives to take forward with the team, and everybody is looking to build on the last home win.
Here are the key quotes from Joey’s pre-match interview…
On the visit of Accrington Stanley…
“They had a phenomenal year last season when they went on to win League Two and the club have made a great start to their campaign. The club builds its success around the togetherness that they have.
“I have spoken to our lads about games and in the games where you are expected to win, they can be the ones where it is the most difficult to pick up the points and from watching footage of them, they are a team and that is the biggest compliment I can give them.
“They all work together and have that togetherness and alongside that, they have talent with the likes of Billy Kee – who was Accrington’s top scorer last season with 25 league goals – Sean McConville and Jordan Clark, so we know it will be tough.
“We need to be on our metal and if we are at it, we have the players and that has been shown in recent weeks that we are a match for anybody.”
On team news for the weekend…
“We have a full bill of health, with the odd player having tight hamstrings, quads or calf muscles which is normal as we played on Tuesday night, and its right with the recovery day we have in process.
“We made ten changes from the starting eleven at Sunderland to Tuesday so we expect a lot of them to be fresh and ready to go on Saturday against Accrington."
On the different mentality going into a game…
“For us, nothing changes if we are favourite or if we are underdogs and we prepare for each game with the right due diligence, and as I said the distance between teams isn’t much.
“It was the same with the game against Sunderland that there wouldn’t be much between the sides and I felt before the game that we would be the better side, and that is because I have a lot of belief in what we do on the training ground and with the players we have recruited.
“I don’t just say things for a soundbite, I say it because I believe and if we went to Sunderland and got pumped, we would all look foolish. You have to be a realist in this job and from this I don’t think Accrington are massive underdogs.
“They are a good side and are on a decent run themselves so we need to be ready!"