Fleetwood Town 0 Bristol Rovers 0: How Joey Barton and Graham Coughlan reacted afterwards
Joey Barton believed his Fleetwood Town players showed signs of promise during Saturday’s goalless draw with Bristol Rovers.
Blustery conditions ruined the match as a spectacle at Highbury but both teams struck the woodwork in a final half-hour which was much more entertaining than the preceding 60 minutes.
Substitute Paddy Madden came closest for Town, hitting the post four minutes after coming on as a 68th minute replacement for Ashley Nadesan.
Rovers also struck the frame of the goal eight minutes later through Oliie Clarke with a point apiece a fair reflection of proceedings.
“We’re adapting to it,” Barton said when asked about the weather.
“Early on in the season, I’m not sure we’d have been able to control a game in such a manner.
“We said to the lads ‘you’ve got to be brave, you’ve got to get the ball on the floor; our pitch is superb and we’ve got to pass the ball.’
“I thought for large periods of the game, standing on the sideline, I just wanted that goal because there were some really good passages of play.
“We aren’t at full strength at the minute; we have a number of suspensions and injuries and lads are getting opportunities.
“Harrison Biggins has been waiting for an opportunity all season; I thought he had a really composed display in the middle of the park and he was excellent as well as Eddie Clarke who was making his debut.
“There are really, really pleasing signs for me, I’m just disappointed Paddy’s one hits the post, Ched (Evans) has a couple of chances and Nadders (Ashley Nadesan) a couple of sniffs.
“I’m looking forward to us controlling and winning those games; I will settle for the clean sheet and lots of positive aspects of the performance today.”
The point means Town cannot finish any lower than 12th in League One this season.
As for their visitors, it meant they could not be dragged into the relegation fight as they sit four points clear of the drop zone with one game left.
Rovers’ manager Graham Coughlan said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve got the job done.
“I’m really proud of the lads and the staff; it was so important for the crowd and the size of the football club to maintain our League One status.
“They have really come to the fore to be honest; they have stood up to be counted and put their bodies on the line.”