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Barton reflects on MK Dons win

26 October 2019

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Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton was delighted after his side picked up all three points against MK Dons.

Ched Evans scored the only goal of the match after The Dons keeper, Lee Nicholls dropped the ball inside the 18-yars box, giving the Welshman a tap in from five yards.

Barton’s men dominated in all categories, and despite putting the ball in the back of the net and having claims for two penalties, it was a relief after the referee blew for full-time, seeing Town pick up the points.

Here is what Barton had to say following the 1-0 win over Paul Tisdale’s side:

On the game…

“It would have been disappointing if we didn’t go and win the game today. It was attack versus defence for 89 minutes of the 90, and at times they did defend their goal heroically.

“Their keeper has made numerous saves and players were putting their bodies on the line and it was great defending from them. MK Dons are having a tough time at the minute, but if there was any doubts about the players commitment to the cause, they answered that today.

“If we scored earlier in the match, we might have gone on to put on a cricket score, or maybe something like Leicester at Southampton because they came for a point today and didn’t leave their half.

“Teams are adjusting to us and we saw that when Ipswich came here. They made tactical changes and so did Burton when they came to Highbury – but we have had to find ways of breaking them down and today we had many opportunities.

“Luckily we have goal scorers in the team, and one popped up today with the winner which we fully deserved.”

On the team effort…

“The thing is we have players at different levels of fitness with Conor McAleny just coming back from injury, we have Ched [Evans] who missed most of pre-season and we have to use them well with three games within a week.

“Harry Souttar has been away with Australia and has played three games since coming back, so it will be important we give him a break to rest and recuperate because he has played three 90 minutes in seven days.

“It’s a real team effort and I am delighted for the boys, and for Alex Cairns and the defence for getting the clean sheet. It’s another win at home in front of the fans and with our form at Highbury over the last 8-9 months, we’ve need that if we are going to be successful.

“Alex has probably had his easiest afternoon and he has deserved that. For the save he made against Burton, he should really have kept one then, but now the challenge is for him to build on that for the rest of the season.”

On creating a new run at home…

“We should have won at Coventry lets make no bones about it, we were miles the better side for 60 minutes of the game. We have looked back and it is individual errors that cost us but for most they do good things.

“We have reinforced that this week and we spoke to the lads about calming down and doing the basics superbly and we will go and win football matches.

“Today was probably our most complete 90 minute performance. Yes we haven’t scored more goals, but we controlled the game for 90 minutes with no threat from MK Dons.

“As a coach, and a team, all should be proud of that as it is hard to control football as comfortably as we have today and it would have been nice to score early, which might have led to more goals.”

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