Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton spoke to the media following his sides 1-1 draw with Sunderland on New Years Day.
Ched Evans opened the scoring in the 13th minute from the penalty spot, where he sent Jon McLaughlin the wrong way to net his eighth of the season.
However, Town couldn’t hold on to a second straight victory over The Black Cats as Chris Maguire also netted from 12-yards-out with only seven minutes left on the clock.
Here is what Barton had to say after the match against Sunderland…
On the game…
“It was a tough game against Sunderland, and it is especially whenever you play against a side who has a stadium capacity bigger than the number of people in our town and you know it’s going to be a difficult.
“We knew their strengths, we know they are a good side and they were coming here on the back of a very good away win at Doncaster Rovers. It was a case of us starting the game off bright and try and get ourselves into the lead.
“We did that with Ched’s penalty and then we wanted to settle and play. It turned into a really good game of football with both sides having chances and for us managers, we have probably aged a lot after seeing us both have opportunities.
“In the game, we looked tired and when you look at the squads you see them bringing on Duncan Watmore who has played in the Premier League, and then we bring on young Harvey Saunders – who we brought to the club this time last year from Darlington.
“We are pleased with the point as it keeps our points tally ticking and also keeps that home record in form and we need to do that as a club of our size.”
On the two penalties…
“Ours was definitely a penalty, and there was a free-kick as the foul was outside the box. I have watched it back a number of times and we are disappointed that it has got to the stage where Kyle had to make a challenge.
“The challenge is clearly outside the box and we just have to be more careful. It’s frustrating for us as the game is hard enough, and the last thing we need is for those decisions to go against us. If we had VAR, it’s given as a free-kick but it happens.
“It’s a point gained and we are unbeaten over the Christmas period, yet we would have liked to have more points on the board.”
On the fans…
“The fans stuck with us today and were great throughout. We understand how difficult it is for them to keep putting their hands in their pockets, especially around Christmas and New Year where you are looking after the families.
“The fans stood with us today and for me, I am really glad we got the point for them because they have been brilliant all last year and today.
“We will need them with us if we are going to be successful because they can make a huge difference.”