Joey Barton gave Blackpool extra motivation to beat Fleetwood says goalscorer Liam Feeney

Liam Feeney celebrates his first Blackpool goal against Fleetwood
Liam Feeney celebrates his first Blackpool goal against Fleetwood
Share this article

Liam Feeney said Blackpool’s players took motivation from Joey Barton’s provocative pre-match comments.

READ MORE: Simon Grayson denied Barton's 'leak' claim
The Fleetwood Town boss stoked the fire ahead of Saturday’s Fylde coast clash by claiming the Seasiders aren’t a big club.

He went on to say his side are a better team than Blackpool, with better players.

Those comments came back to haunt him as Blackpool ran out deserved 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Feeney, Sullay Kaikai and Armand Gnanduillet.

When asked by The Gazette if Feeney and his team-mates took notice of Barton’s comments, the 33-year-old said: “Yeah, we all knew what was said. We actually spoke about it a little bit in the dressing room beforehand.

“Listen, that might be his way and it might be his honest opinion of what he thinks of us and his club, but we just use it as extra motivation.

“Those things can always come back to bite you, so I’d always be wary of being disrespectful to other professionals.

“He’s probably just backing his own club and I’m sure he’s just trying to wind a few people up before the derby game. Thankfully we did the talking on the pitch and managed to get the win.

“We already knew what sort of game it was and how important it was locally to the fans and to our season.

“But it was just a little bit of extra motivation when someone is saying you’re not very good and certain things like that.

“You want to go out there and prove him wrong. So if every manager wants to do it and that’s the performance we’re going to put out, they’re more than welcome to.”

Feeney’s goal, which opened the scoring after 11 minutes, was his first for the club after 66 appearances.

He took it in clinical style, drilling low into the bottom corner after Fleetwood had failed to clear their lines.

“A few people said they had a feeling I was going to score, so it was a great feeling to get the first one,” Feeney added.

“I know a lot of people have been talking about it, so it’s pleasing to get that monkey off the back.

“Both the manager and the assistant mentioned it to me, and even my missus said before the game I was going to score. It must have been written in the stars.

“I’m really pleased to help the team get the win because it’s such an important game for the fans and our league campaign as well, as it’s pushed us right up there (into fourth place).

“I’m really pleased to get my first goal in an important game for the fans.

“There’s local pride at stake with people going into work and they want the bragging rights, so it’s important.

“We know how much it means to them and it means a lot to us as well.

“There’s been a lot of talk from the other side and we’re not blind – we read and see press reports, so it was pleasing for us to get the win and do our talking on the pitch.”