Head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media ahead of his side’s trip to The Hive to face Barnet in the First Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday.
The Cod Army have made it to the Third Round of the competition in the last two seasons and are looking to replicate that again this year. Last season, Town beat Alfreton Town and Guiseley in the first two rounds but lost out AFC Wimbledon in the Third Round.
Here is what Joey had to say on Friday morning at Poolfoot Farm:
On Sunday’s opposition…
“We’ve got a tough tie. Barnet beat Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last year, so we need to be full focused on the tricky fixture. They had a good result last time out and the FA Cup could see the pressure come off them a little bit and we need to make sure that we are as professional as we can be because if aren’t, we could be a scalp in the FA Cup.
“They carry some pace in their side and I think they may adjust to play us. We’ve just got to make sure that we take care of us and it’s quite nice to know that if you go and deliver your performance, you’ve got enough quality to cause our opponents some trouble. We have to do the basics right and win the early part of the game in order to play our football.”
On the squad…
“Everyone’s fine, we should have a full complement to select from. There will no doubt be a few unhappy players as we have more than 11 good players, but unfortunately, I only have 11 shirts.
“Our first team is strong, and so are our Under 23s, so it is good to see our youngsters doing well and showing what they are capable of.
“We have to be mindful of the FA Youth Cup as that will be our young players’ priority. It’s a special competition that you might only get one or two times to win so we will prioritise their progression in that over them playing a few minutes here and there for the first team.”
On what it means to the town…
"I know what this competition means to everybody in the town. It our responsibility to inspire them and a good cup run would see the excitement factor come to the Fylde Coast. If we make it to the Third Round, and come up against a big side, it would give the town a great boost."