Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke following his sides narrow 1-0 loss to experienced Sky Bet Championship side Millwall on Saturday evening.
Barton and his side have been on a week-long training camp in Portugal, and finished it off with a match against fellow English side Millwall in scorching heat at the Estadio Municipal de Albufeira stadium.
Fleetwood lost late in the game with the Lions’ scoring through substitute Shaun Williams – who finished off the attacking move from close range. Despite the result, there are many positives for Joey Barton and the players to take back to the Fylde Coast.
Here is what Barton had to say after the match:
On the match against Millwall…
“It was a really good workout for us this evening against a very good Millwall side. They are a very experienced group of players and for any time you need to be well organised against them on set plays and I thought we handled that superbly.
“For us the key is getting players minutes and keeping them fit and ready for the season ahead and we did that. When we made changes, there was clearly a financial strength there compared to ours and that was evident. We were putting in young players and they equipped themselves superbly so we are happy with that.
“It’s just a shame that a lapse in concentration right at the death cost us, but apart from that, I thought we were good without really having that cutting edge, there were many aspect we are pleased with, one being the players got through that without any knocks.”
On the week in Portugal…
“This week has been a really good week and the lads have put in some good work. It’s always nice to top it off with a runout as it’s always football matches that give you that football fitness and the lads are in a good spot as we now head home.
“We’ve got a busy schedule ahead of us now with our next game on Wednesday and then one on Saturday and I think we are all looking forward to it as these sides will test us.
“Last season wasn’t my pre-season schedule because I wasn’t in the job at the time, and looking back those teams didn’t put us in the deep water that we got here today. It’s always better playing against sides above you because they carry quality with them and it just shows our lads were they need to be at.”
On the travelling Cod Army…
“The fans have been fantastic, I think during the game they were more entertained for large parts of the second half by the seagull that came into the game, but the fans travelled out to get some sun, watch some football and also see the players and have a Q&A with myself.
“The fans can’t go wrong from here, they will go and have a pint and reassess themselves in the morning with a slight hangover.”
The best way to watch Joey Barton and his side in action is by getting your Onward Card. The Onward Card will give you access to all 23 league home matches, with additional benefits with local partners. Visit www.onwardcard.co.uk for more details.