Barton thinks big for 'David v Goliath' campaign at Fleetwood

As an ex-Newcastle United player, slaying Sunderland next season is high on the agenda for new Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton in what he calls a 'David and Goliath' match-up.

Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 11:28 am
Joey Barton
Joey Barton

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As an ex-Newcastle United player, slaying Sunderland next season is high on the agenda for new Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton in what he calls a “David and Goliath” match-up. Town is a smaller club with smaller budgets than the ex-Premier League Black Cats, now relegated from the Championship, but Barton warned that as in the biblical tale David can win.Barton is not ruling out a battle at the top end of League One with Sunderland next season but warns it could take time, though he joked that if “Sheikh Andy” (Pilley) wants to throw a huge sum his way he can get Town straight up.Fleetwood are no mimnows with their mid-table budget and Barton is set to be backed by chairman Pilley in this transfer window.Barton says success is not only measured in trophies – it is about getting the Cod Army to love what they see on the pitch. He said: “We are not trying to reinvent the wheel. The club has had multiple promotions over the last decade and is on an upwards trajectory.“The level I have operated at as a player is higher than the level Fleetwood are currently at. The challenge is to get the processes up to that level.“That takes time. You can’t come in with a magic wand but if Andy wants to give me £100m I can do it pretty quickly!“In football, if you have not got finance you have to have a phenomenal culture and working environment.“That is one thing I can promise the players – they will love coming to training. We have to get the fans coming to the stadium loving our output. If you do that, it is success.“It is so hard to win trophies and everybody in football deems that as success, but only a select band of teams can win trophies every season.“We have 25,000 people in Fleetwood and Sunderland’s stadium holds 40,000.“They are going to come down with their second tranche of parachute payments from the Premier League, which I think is about £28m, so they are at a huge advantage to us financially.“In that case we have to do everything in our power that we can control to close that gap. It is David v Goliath.“If you’d said 10 years ago that Fleetwood would play Sunderland in the league people would probably have laughed in your face.“But once August 4 comes that is what we are going to be faced with.“But I’m confident, with the right processes in place. David sometimes can slay Goliath and that has to be our attitude. “We are Fleetwood Town and we have to have that underdog mentality because in league terms there are lots of bigger clubs out there.“But if we are together on and off the pitch and we have a better collective, underdog teams can shock the world.”

Fleetwood will travel to League Two side Morecambe for a pre-season fixture on Saturday July 28 (3pm k.o)

Joey Barton