Fleetwood Town boss heartened by display in defeat at Peterborough United
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton dubbed his side's defeat at promotion-chasing Peterborough United as a fine example of League One football.
Town lost 1-0 as Rhys Bennett thundered home Louis Reed’s corner in the 52nd minute for the only goal of the game.
It was the same outcome as Saturday’s match at league leaders Portsmouth and achieved in the same manner with a set-piece once again proving Town’s downfall.
Conceding in that manner frustrated Barton but he was pleased with an improved performance and said his side deserved to leave with at least a point.
Ash Hunter, Wes Burns, Ched Evans and Chris Long all wasted chances to level in the second half as Town hunted for a leveller.
He said: “I thought we were miles better than what we were on Saturday but, again, scratching my head as to how we have not managed to take at least a point.
“I think anyone who is in the stadium will say we at least deserved that.
“We are a team in progress; we are a side that has lost four games 1-0 out of the five defeats we have had.
“I don’t think there was much in that defeat though.
“If that is first and second in this division then we are not a million miles away; we have shown we can compete.
“Saturday was a bit more stop-start, two sides cancelling each other out.
“That was a fantastic advertisement for League One; 1-0 but a real end-to-end game.
“The most frustrating thing for me is we have been done around about the same time by a set play.
“We are learning but we are disappointed to give away set-play goals.”
Just as frustrating for Barton were yet more injury issues.
Dean Marney had returned to the starting line-up but limped off in the 42nd minute, while fellow central midfielder Ryan Taylor also went off with a shoulder knock.
Town also missed Paddy Madden due to a niggle but were boosted by the return of Ched Evans and the resurgence of Chris Long.
Barton had taken off Long off after he had come on during the 2-1 win over Shrewsbury Town.
He was pleased though with how the striker responded in his first appearance since.
Barton said: “We could have been a bit more composed in certain areas but I thought the lads were brave away from home against a side second in the division.
“We were keen to get on the ball, especially in the second half when we were chasing the game.
“I’m frustrated by the disruption; Ryan bangs his shoulder, Marns bangs his leg.
“It’s frustrating in terms of getting a settled side because I am sure if we get the the strongest XI on the pitch in the shape we want to play, we will win lots of games of football.
“Chris Long was very good, certainly to bounce back after being taken off against Shrewsbury.
“I thought he showed flashes of the player we know he can be. That is a big plus for us.”