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Joey Barton looks ahead to Tranmere Rovers

27 February 2020

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Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media ahead of his sides trip to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday 29 February.

Barton and his team are currently nine games unbeaten in Sky Bet League One, with first match being in the draw against Shrewsbury Town at Highbury Stadium.

After late heartbreak on Tuesday night at Sunderland, the boss knows the importance of the next game away at Tranmere, and also knows the fans will have a huge part to play in the last 12 matches of the campaign.

Here are the best parts from Barton's press conference:

On Tranmere Rovers this weekend…

“It’s going to be a tough game on Saturday, very different to Tuesday night and they [Tranmere] picked up a great result away at Shrewsbury during the week. That will give them a lot of confidence going into the game and Micky Mellon will be looking to get one over his former club, mainly because they need the points more than us.

“This is as tough as we’ve had. I’ll be honest and say I was that worried about Sunderland as I think those types of games are relatively easy to get yourself up for because you know you’re going to play in a great stadium and in these games, this is where you have to be careful.

“I will always remember in the good sides I was part of who were chasing promotion, the games you are expected to win, they are the ones that prove the most difficult because they are fighting for their lives. If we aren’t better than what we were on Tuesday night, it will be difficult.

“The pitch is what it is and I believe if you are a good player, the worse the pitch it is the better it should suit you. If you have a good first touch, the pitch is a leveler for people who don’t have a good touch. Good teams can win on anything and If it’s a scrap, we need to go and win it.”

On Paddy Madden…

“It’s a massive boost for us to have Ched back. We’ve gone to Sunderland away and had Portsmouth and Peterborough at home without Ched, but I must say that Paddy Madden has been incredible. He has improve his game so much and as a coaching team, we’ve had so many conversations with him.

“In those chats we have said that just because you turn a certain age, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve. He has an unbelievable attitude and an unbelievable goal scoring record at this level, and we knew we could take him to the next level.

“For him to show that humility to want to get better, that’s great and we have told him what he needs to do to play in the Championship. He has taken things on board and not only listened and worked hard on the training ground, he’s implementing that on a match day and in the last three games, he’s shown the outside world what a player he is.”

On this current Fleetwood team…

“We have no pressure. We have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose because in our culture, we get strong and we get better.

“What our fans need to understand is that this is a special team. This is a special group of players and we know we won’t have certain players here with us next season. It’s unique and bespoke to what we are doing now and we need the fans now! Don’t wait five more games to support the boys, don’t wait until next season, this team might not be the best in the league next season.

“We are right in the mix, and as player and staff, this is what we do it for. This is why we come to work and why we have become professional footballers, we want to be part of these high stake games and have all to gain. It’s a great place to be here at Fleetwood Town.”

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