Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton: 'We've got to pick ourselves up off the canvas'

Joey Barton and Ched Evans after the 4-1 defeat to Wycombe.Joey Barton and Ched Evans after the 4-1 defeat to Wycombe.
Joey Barton and Ched Evans after the 4-1 defeat to Wycombe.
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says his side must pick themselves up off the canvas in their play-off semi final second leg, after a 4-1 defeat at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

In a sensational game at Highbury, there were five goals, two red cards, two penalties and even a flare on the pitch.

Lewie Coyle received a straight red card, and would therefore miss a miraculous Wembley appearance, and Paddy Madden was booked for simulation and dissent before the ball was rolling again to leave early.

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Nnamdi Ofoborh opened the scoring, the first of three goals in the opening five minutes, with his first touch of the game, with Ched Evans levelling from the spot.

The Chairboys took control with a further three goals - Alex Cairns turning Joe Jacobson's corner into his own net, before saving a spot kick when Coyle was dismissed.

David Wheeler made it 3-1 before Alex Samuel capitalised on an error at the back on a night to forget for the Town no.1.

Barton believes it's now a test of his side's character as they must pick themselves ups after such a heavy loss, getting themselves into a better position when the second leg comes around being the first part of that.

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He said: "I’m at the start of my managerial career and I certainly hope I never experience a 45 minutes, or a 90 minutes, like that again.

"We’ll be back, it’s a test of our character.

"We’ll climb off the canvas, probably even underneath the canvas, on Monday.

"We’ve got to get ourselves in a position to win the game, first and foremost.

"If we get ourselves into a position to win the game first and foremost, who knows what happens."

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The 37-year-old wants to maintain a sense of perspective after the defeat, with the long trip to Wycombe for the second leg coming up on Monday night.

He said: "I’m as disappointed as anyone because you want to win football matches and I care deeply about the football club, the players at the football club and it was a fantastic opportunity for us tonight.

"A play-off semi is a huge achievement for us, it’s not the way we wanted it to pan out but that’s life, that’s football. Nobody’s dead.

"We’ll be back, we’ll be strong. There’s a lot of madness going on in the world and we’ve got to not lose sight of reality.

"We’re desperately disappointed. Trust me, we’ll be feeling that game certainly until the game kicks off Monday night. But things are sent to test you in life."