Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke after beating promotion hopefuls Peterborough United 2-1 in an emphatic encounter at Highbury.
An early penalty save from Alex Cairns kept the score level and shortly afterwards, loanee Callum Connolly opened the scoring – grabbing his first goal for Fleetwood. The score remained 1-0 at half-time but the visitors levelled it through a great strike from Dan Butler.
Wes Burns scored the winner after showing a spark of magic weaving in and out of two players before unleashing a brilliant effort that found the back of the net, giving Fleetwood all three points!
The Cod Army are now only two points away from the play-off positions after their fourth win in a row.
Here are the best quotes from Joey Barton after the game…
On the performance…
“Great winner… Fleetwood… Weather conditions… Hottest team in the division coming to town. We talk about our boys all the time and how much they compete and how much they are together and the team shape.
“I said to them before the Wimbledon game, and the Wycombe game and before the game today, ‘this is a real test of our culture and our principles and whether what we believe to be true is actually true’.
“I think performances like that, playing in the manner we did, using the game intelligence at times that we did, really, really good times for our football club and absolutely delighted with every single person within that dressing room.
“You saw the substitutes come on and make an impact. We had Ched Evans suspended today, and I thought Paddy Madden was superb – really filled that shirt, won every header, virtually, in that front line which he’s not renowned for and worked tirelessly for the cause.”
On the penalty and opening goal…
“I think it’s a combination of great goalkeeping and great work in the background from the analytics and the backroom staff because the normal penalty taker, Ivan Toney didn’t play today. Obviously the second player who usually take penalties is Marcus Maddison who’s left the club. So, there was a potential four players out there who could take the penalty!
“Alex [Cairns] had those on his water bottle, those takers and where they go – it was (Mo) Eisa for them today. We knew he went down the middle, and Alex follows the instructions and makes a great save, which was a huge catalyst for us!
“We then score a really good goal after a change of shape. We pushed Callum Connolly into midfield) after he has been playing centre half for us, and he finished that goal like a seasoned striker, I think Kun Aguero would’ve been absolutely delighted to rattle that into the top corner from the distance Cal (Connolly) has.”
On the fans…
“I’m just so proud of our group, so proud of the football club that we’ve got. I thought the fans were superb, I saw Wayne (Fleetwood’s Fan Liaison Officer) getting the normally reserved part of the ground at it!
“For the first time in a long time here, I really think the fans are starting to believe in this group of players. If we’re going to be successful we need everybody in Fleetwood, not just one or two, we need these lads’ support and if they turn up and support this team, I think there are some incredible days ahead.
“We want to give them days like today. We’ve got another tough fixture coming against one of the good sides in the division, one of the top sides in the division, a powerhouse of a team in Portsmouth.”