Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton slams Accrington Stanley's pitch and advises owner Andy Holt to invest in the surface and be 'careful' about his conduct on Twitter

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton believes Accrington owner Andy Holt needs to invest in the pitch at the Wham Stadium as Barton slammed the 'awful' surface.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 6:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th March 2019, 6:38 pm
Joey Barton

Harry Souttar's 50th minute header clinched a 1-0 win for Barton's side.

But the post-match press conference was dominated by Barton's views on the pitch.

The Town boss revealed he took offence to Andy Holt's comments about Fleetwood Town's budget on Twitter this week and advised the Accrington chief to conduct himself differently in the future.

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Holt speculated about Town's budget as he responded to Barton's initial criticism about the surface as he questioned whether the game would take place due to the weather and previous postponements.

But it was not just Holt that got Barton's back up.

The Town boss also says he used comments from Accrington's players for motivation before the clash.

The alleged comments about 'battering' Fleetwood in the reverse 1-1 draw at Highbury are believed to have been brought to Barton's attention by first team coach and ex-Accrington striker Andy Mangan this week.

Given that Barton was thrilled to pick up three points.

He said: "We should of won by five or six.

"We were defending a 1-0 lead but we were a threat on the counter-attack.

"I'm pleased with the lads.

"We spoke in the week about the state of the pitch.

"It is a shambles isn't it.

"I know there are excuses for that but we want to play football.

"The surface has to be prepared for a team to play football on.

"I know they got a little bit of their knickers in a twist when I mentioned it but also they have had players sold for transfer fees

"Andy Holt was very vocal on Twitter this week about our club's budget.

"I'd suggest to him that he invests in his playing surface because it is costing his team."

He added: "We are the better side.

"We knew we would (handle the pitch)

"Good players can play on anything.

"I spoke to our lads in the dressing room before we got on the pitch.

"I said 'you grew up in the streets, with cars going past and kerbs and man hole covers to navigate. Good players can play on anything.

"From their side they lost Jordan Clark.

"He is a top player.

"When he is not in the Accrington team you know they are not going to be as strong as they can possibly be.

"I thought we played outstanding football on a terrible pitch.

"We were worthy winners in the end."

But Barton clarified he has a lot of respect for Accrington boss John Coleman and his staff.

Stanley are only two points above the drop zone.

But Barton, who's Fleetwood Town side are eight points off sixth-placed Doncaster Rovers, hopes they stay up and address their pitch problems.

He said: "We know they start strong.

"They are a strong starting team with a decent record in the first 15 minutes.

"We heard from their comms that they battered us at Highbury and that this was going to be a relatively straightforward fixture for them.

"They should be mindful of their comments because we did not need a team talk today.

I just put up a few quotes from a few of their players.

"You can see from our lads performance, local rivals, a load of Scousers in the technical area all competing.

We wanted to beat them.

"I have a lot of respect from John, Jimmy and John Doolan.

"Jimmy and John Doolan played with my dad in ammeter football at Knowlsey United.

"We want to see them stay up.

"They are like us at Fleetwood, alright we have a slightly different economical situation with our owner than their owner but it is great to see sides like Accy in this division punching above their weight.

"We were desperate to beat them because we have our own ambitions, chasing down a long shot of a play-off spot.

"We wish them all the best in the remaining fixtures.

I really hope to see them next season and pit our wits against."

And Barton says he told Holt his Twitter comments were disrespectful.

He said: "I know he is a bit of a space man the chairman and he is very vocal on Twitter but when he starts talking about the budget we have at our football club it is disrespectful.

"He does not know the ins and outs at our football club.

"I don't talk about his finances or bring it into the public arena.

"I get he was trying to get a bite out of me to maybe get a couple of thousand more followers.

"But I told him it lacked a bit of class and respect.

"I'm delighted we took the three points because he should conduct himself in a better manner rather than talking about Fleetwood Town's finances.

"I answered a question honestly saying I hope the game was on because I know Accrington's pitch has been poor.

"They had a couple of games postponed hence the reason they have two games in hand on most of the division.

"I was made aware during the week about his comments.

"I was taken aback by it.

"I get his is an extrovert character.

"He needs to be careful how he conducts himself.

"The pitch is awful.

"There is no two ways about it.

"We want to play football and it hurts Accrington as much as it hurts the opposition because they have some fantastic footballers.

I have a lot of respect for John and Jimmy and they want to get the ball down and play.

I spoke to the groundsman and he said 'thanks for your comments this week, hopefully we will get a few quid to invest in our pitch'.

"We are here to play football.

"The fans pay to watch players play football.

"I'm delighted with three points and it is important now we focus on Southend, getting back on our home pitch - which is in a decent state and get back to winning football games."