Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media after his side dropped out of the EFL Trophy after a 5-3 defeat on penalties to Accrington Stanley.
After a curling effort from Josh Morris and a superb freekick from Danny Andrew, Town could not keep Stanley at bay as Ross Sykes stabbed home an equaliser in the final moments of the game.
A missed penalty from Town’s marksman, Paddy Madden saw Barton’s side drop out of the competition, missing out on a trip to Wembley.
Here’s what Barton had to say after the match...
The team performance…
“I am really pleased with the lads. Obviously the lads on the edge of the side that have not been able to get in to the side for the league campaign were given an opportunity tonight and I thought a lot of them had given a good account of themselves. We played some great stuff and came from behind against the run the of play really.”
Thoughts on full time and season aims…
“Credit to Accrington, they kept going right to the end, stuck at it and I wish them nothing but the best for the rest of the competition, but for us now, the focus Is on the league campaign and maintaining our promotion push and trying to get ourselves into the shake-up.
“We can’t go to Wembley in the EFL Trophy or the F.A. Cup, they’ve both gone now, but we can certainly go there in the play-offs if we’re good enough to get there, or hopefully not and do it via the automatic route.
“So there’s a lot to play for and certainly we’ve got some great games coming up into the new year and as I say, the squad looks fit and ready.”
On exiting the competition…
“You fancy Paddy Madden to score and obviously you don’t expect him to miss the target. After that point their penalties were very good so yes, very disappointed that we’re out the competition, but we can now focus on the league and a very good performance.
“There were some great though, positive signs for the group that are behind the starting group. Some of those players certainly gave us some food for thought from this game and back to our bread and butter of the League One campaign and a tough fixture at Burton on Saturday.”
“We brought Danny Andrew in and we knew the quality he possesses, and obviously Josh Morris as well. I think Josh had scored from the earlier one with that quick corner with a really good shot across the box, and I was surprised to see that Josh had let Danny take the free-kick.
“It looked like he (Josh) had shooting boots on. I think that it’s his best game for a while and he really looked like he was enjoying his football out there tonight, and Danny’s pulled rank and absolutely smashed it into the top corner.
“So really great quality and just a little bit unfortunate because we should have taken the game beyond them.”