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Interviews

Barton previews test against league leaders Luton

15 February 2019

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton spoke to the media at Poolfoot Farm on Friday ahead of facing the league leaders, Luton Town.

Town made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October after beating Bradford City last weekend, and with a win against the Hatters, the play-off places could be five points adrift come 5pm on Saturday.

Here are the key quotes from the pre-Luton press conference...

On facing the top side in League One…

“We are playing against the top side in the division and we expect to be it to be a strong examination of our culture that we have built and certainly in the last five and six games. It will be a bench mark as every team is looking at Luton as the side to be because of where they sit.

“It is a great challenge for us, I believe they are 19 games unbeaten now (five wins in their last five) so for us it is a great test for us as a team.

“It is a tough old league and you never know if teams will get in and around them. They have absorbed losing their manager, and have brought in players to build on and get them past the line. They are probably a stronger side than the one we played against in December.

“It is their title to lose but at this stage they are in the final section of the season and they will need to do something that they haven’t done in the last two season – lose a run of games – for them not to get the job done.

“It is about what we do as a team on Saturday and we have done well against teams in the top six. Saturday will be see how far we are off being one of the top sides in the division.”

On the back to back 1-0 victories…

“It is always nice to follow up a good performance with another positive performance at Bradford and for me since we lost in the FA Cup against AFC Wimbledon, we have been more consistent with our output and as a coach, that’s always very pleasing.

“Saturday was Alex Cairns’ 12th clean sheet of the season and that is a personal milestone for him and I also believe we will score goals as a team and also keep clean sheets as a team, and that is shown by our unselfish work across the pitch to protect Alex.”

On a squad update…

“Wes Burns is back and available for selection so that is another player we have to choose from, and barring James Wallace and Eddie Clarke, we are ready to go against Luton.

“(Barton laughs) Wes hasn’t played in midfield yet so we might try him there with James Wallace out. He has been first class for me amongst a number of players and he really has been a shining light for the club this season.”


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