Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media at Poolfoot Farm on Thursday morning ahead of his sides trip to Peterborough United on the opening weekend of the Sky Bet League One season.
Barton has made eight signings in pre-season, seeing the likes of Paul Coutts, Josh Morris, Danny Andrew and many more coming through the door, along with latest signings Peter Clarke and Matt Gilks.
With Town beating Sky Bet Championship side Preston North End in their final match, and putting a strong performance against Premier League side Burnley, all eyes are now on the trip to the Weston Homes Stadium
Here is what Joey had to say...
On the opening day fixture against Peterborough United…
“Peterborough is probably one of the hardest places to go in League One and I am looking forward to the test. We have to play everybody twice over the course of the season and when you look at last year, we had Wimbledon at home, you think you should go and win and then you go and get beat.
“This is a game where you look and say whenever you go to Peterborough, it will be a tough fixture because they are a good side who have spent heavily and were unfortunate last year to not reach the play-offs.
“We have our own ambitions and I know if we execute what we have done in pre-season and the players do what they do naturally, we will cause them many problems on Saturday.”
“This pre-season has been a lot calmer than last year and that is mainly because we aren’t coming into it as new coaches and now we have the experience behind us. We’ve walked the path before and there has been a general calmness in what we have done.
“It’s great to see the players at the intensity that they are at because they are in a good spot at the moment and are hoping we show that in the first period of the new season. We are always adjusting whilst not reinventing the wheel – just making subtle tweaks here and there which will clearly benefit us.
“We’ve brought in a few new bodies come in and that has altered things but on the whole we have a really good foundation to build off. We are always looking to strengthen in areas, especially strikers as we only really have Paddy Madden as an out and out striker. I am happy with what we have at the moment.”
On the signings of Peter Clarke and Matt Gilks…
“Peter has shown desire to be a footballer and it’s easy to say he is a senior statesman but I do believe that age is a state of mind and there are a lot of us who know people who are 24 but 48 in the head and then some who are 37-year-olds who think they are 21 but have that experience.
“He communicates really well and when you have two young centre-halves coming through this football club in James Hill, Nathan Sheron and Harrison Holgate he can pass on his expertise’s – and all the new signings have embraced that.
“With Matt Gilks, we wanted Alex Cairns to feel pressure and competition is important. Gilks who I know from my time at Burnley is an phenomenal professional who has a great training ethic and with Alex and Billy [Crellin] behind him in experience, I felt they both needed someone who has been to the top flight and still has that ambition and a lot to offer.
“We are always looking to add good people and good players to our squad because that’s what we have to do. We have to build out culture and as I say, we’ve made incredible strides off the field and hopefully this year that work is shown on the pitch.”
The best way to watch Fleetwood this season is by purchasing the Onward Card. Adults will pay as little as £170 for the whole season meaning you will get access to all 23 league home matches, with many benefits, including £5 away travel throughout the season. Visit www.onwardcard.co.uk for more details.