Fleetwood boss Joey Barton admits: I need to rethink the mind-games

Barton: I must stop making other managers' team talks easier
Barton: I must stop making other managers' team talks easier
Share this article

Joey Barton says he must learn to stop doing the opposition’s team talks for them after Fleetwood Town’s derby defeat at Blackpool.

READ MORE: Ash Eastham seeking perfection at Fleetwood
Barton accepts that he riled last weekend’s hosts by expressing his opinions that Blackpool are not a big club, and that Town are better-run and have better players.

Barton had also criticised Ipswich Town ahead of their visit to Highbury in October and the Tractor Boys won 1-0, Fleetwood’s only home defeat of the season.

Barton says he will weigh his words carefully in future, especially when coming up against such seasoned operators as Ipswich boss Paul Lambert and Blackpool’s Simon Grayson.

The Town boss said: “We’ve got to learn. We’ve got to manage it better but as a young coach it’s a fantastic learning experience for me and no doubt it’ll help me in the future.

“Not doing experienced managers’ team talks for them because I’ve done that for Ipswich, I’ve done that with Blackpool. It hasn’t worked for me twice, so I’ll have to adjust course.

“In my diary it says, ‘Say how good everyone else is; tell everyone what brilliant managers they are and don’t do their team talks for them!’

“I’m still learning. We (he and Grayson) had a good laugh about it on the touchline.

“I said to him, ‘I’m surprised you had a nibble on that!’ I’d seen his comments and it had wound him up.

“We were just chuckling about it. Simon’s a very experienced manager.

“He’s been there, done it and got the T-shirt.

“He obviously sees a bit of an upstart like me and thinks, ‘Thanks, you’ve just made my team talk a hell of a lot easier!’”

Barton admits he has made mistakes but says his words were born out of pride in his club.

“In anything you have to get things wrong to learn,” he added. “For me, it was about establishing Fleetwood Town Football Club.

“As the manager of this club, I think it’s important to say we’ve got a good team and have good things happening.

“If you believe in your group and you believe in your players in the way I do, I have no problem communicating it.

“When it blows back in your face, you have to be man enough to take it.

“You have to accept that if you make big comments and you don’t back them up, you’re going to be held to account. I’ve no problem with that.

“I’m still experimenting in the mind games arena. The way I’ve done it in the Ipswich game and the Blackpool game I probably won’t use again, but you have to go through those lessons to learn from it.

“I just don’t want to do the opposition’s team talks for them – the game’s hard enough. It’s hard on our lads, especially when I’ve motivated the opposition. I have to take that on board.”