Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton 'gutted' not to take three points from Portsmouth

Fleetwood celebrate Harry Souttar's equaliser at PortsmouthFleetwood celebrate Harry Souttar's equaliser at Portsmouth
Fleetwood celebrate Harry Souttar's equaliser at Portsmouth | jpimedia
Joey Barton was disappointed that his in-form Fleetwood Town side had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Portsmouth on Tuesday.
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The point lifted Barton’s side to fifth in League One, just two points outside the automatic promotion spots with nine games to play, but Barton admitted: “We’re disappointed with a draw to be honest.

“We were the better side but we didn’t make the most of our opportunities.

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“We created the better chances. Unfortunately we hit the post, then at the end Josh Morris is one-on-one with the keeper.

“We’d expect him to score because he usually puts those in the back of the net but Alex Bass makes a good save.

“I rotated the squad to get some freshness in but our quality and energy levels never dropped, which is really pleasing.

“I think the players who came in really added to what we’ve been doing. The only thing is we would have liked that winning goal.

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“They got themselves ahead early in the second half. We had to respond to that, and as a young team I thought we did that very well.

“I’m just gutted we didn’t win because I felt the performance thoroughly deserved a better result.

“It’s probably a good point when you look back at it but we fancy beating anybody, anywhere at this moment in time.”

Despite his obvious frustration, Barton also praised his players.

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The February manager of the month nominee added: “To come to Fratton Park, where Portsmouth haven’t lost all season, and play the way we did was great.

“I think even the most ardent Portsmouth fan will accept we were the better side.

“It’s huge progress for our football club and we’re really pleased with how far we’ve come.

“The expectation now is that we can beat anyone and that’s huge credit to what is a relatively small squad.

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“Huge credit to the players because they’ve worked incredibly hard since we came back for pre-season.

“They have never had a half-hearted training session and they turn up for each other every day.

“To come here and play the way we did deserves enormous credit.”