Fleetwood boss Joey Barton says mixed night for Harry Souttar at Portsmouth showed he's "a proper defender"

Harry Souttar bounced back from his own goal with Fleetwood's equaliser at PortsmouthHarry Souttar bounced back from his own goal with Fleetwood's equaliser at Portsmouth
Harry Souttar bounced back from his own goal with Fleetwood's equaliser at Portsmouth | jpimedia
Joey Barton is sure the confidence of Fleetwood's Harry Souttar won't have been knocked by his own goal at Portsmouth  - and the Town boss has assured his centre-half the setback proves he is a "proper defender".
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But Barton says that is the sort of mistake the best defenders make due to their willingness to get in the way of the ball at all times.

Town's head coach said: "When you look at own goals in the Premier League, its normally all the best defenders.

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“They put themselves in those positions, try and get their bodies on the line and the amount of goals they save is incredible.

“ If you get it slightly wrong, get a weird bounce and the ball ends up in the back of your net, unfortunately that’s part and parcel of being a proper defender.

“'H' won’t need to worry about that. He’s picked himself up and gone down the other end and got the equalising goal back.”

Barton felt Souttar was also highly unfortunate not to be awarded a free-kick when Pompey's Sean Raggett made it 1-1 in the first half.

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He added: "100 per cent it was a foul. Sean Raggett takes a three, four, five-second ride on big Harry Souttar.

"It looked as though he had a saddle on and was having a good old ride. It was more reminiscent of the Cheltenham races than a soccer match.

"It’s disappointing but you're going to have moments of adversity in football. Decisions go against you, close margins and all that, but credit to the lads for dusting themselves down and at 2-2 I thought we looked the side more likely to win."

Barton says everyone at Fleetwood has already moved on to the next challenge - another long-distance trip on Saturday to Gillingham.

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"It’s now all about the next game and we’ve already begun the recovery process, ready to get our energy levels restored for what will be another tough encounter with (Gills boss) Steve Evans," he said.

“We analysed Portsmouth and felt we’d spotted a weakness in a big, physical side, and I thought we were unlucky not to score three or four goals from corners.

“At the other end we took away all of Portsmouth’s attacking platform and it wasn’t too difficult to do that.

“You have to give enormous credit to the players. You give them a game plan but it's up to the players to go out there and execute it.

"But apart from a few small details, I thought the lads were really good and did enough to dominate Portsmouth and win the game."