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Barton looks ahead to trip to Bradford

Boss previews match against David Hopkin's side

7 February 2019


Barton looks ahead to trip to Bradford

Boss previews match against David Hopkin's side

7 February 2019

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Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Yorkshire to face Bradford City.

Barton’s side go into the game against The Bantams buoyed by last weekend’s victory over promotion chasing Charlton Athletic at Highbury.

The Cod Army defeated City 2-1 earlier in the season, with Barton and his side looking to complete the double over their opponents on Saturday.

See below the key quotes from Joey’s pre-match press conference…

On Craig Morgan returning from injury…

“He’s not far away actually. Obviously after keeping a clean sheet it’s difficult to change the team, especially when the defence functioned really well. For me, it’s a big thing having your skipper out because he is a leader in the dressing room and on the pitch.

“Ash [Eastham] was captain on Saturday and is our vice-captain, and I thought he was outstanding on Saturday. He and other senior players in the team led the boys really well on Saturday, helping limiting the opposition to only a small number of chances.”

On Alex Cairns potentially playing his 100th EFL match for the club on Saturday…

“From the first few days of coming into the club, you could see that Alex was a very well respected member of the group. His work ethic and desire to improve gives him that standing in the dressing room, and for me he’s been a huge part of our group and team.

“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper who has shown over the course of the season the qualities he has. Thankfully, we’ve faced two shots on target in the last three games so he’s getting less work to do than in the earlier part of the season!

“I hope he has even less work to do between now and May – but the team know they can rely on him should they need him.”

On Jack Sowerby and Ash Hunter pushing for starting spots in the team…

“Yes – I really think that Jack and Ash gave the team a lift.

“There was a lift within the stadium – especially with Ash because the fans know the impact that he can have, as we do.

“The tempo was raised and at the time of the game was important. We really improved in the second period.”

On injuries and opportunities for young players…

“Wes [Burns] trains today, with Coyley [Lewie Coyle] being back from suspension too. We’ve got pretty much the full complement of players available, with Morgs [Craig Morgan] hopefully fit for the game.

“I do think that we’ve got real quality in the squad – albeit in smaller numbers than before January – but it gives us the opportunity to look at the emerging talent in the group behind the first team.

“We’ve cleared players out, but the pathway is clear for the younger lads to see what they are capable of.”

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