Barton backs Fleetwood Town keeper Cairns to keep on improving

Fleetwood Town's Alex Cairns
Fleetwood Town's Alex Cairns

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says Alex Cairns will be a better keeper than he was last week when he starts against Barnsley on Saturday.

Having been dubbed as the best keeper in League One by his manager, Cairns and Cian Bolger were at fault in Town’s 1-0 loss at Southend United last Saturday.

Cairns rolled the ball out quickly to Bolger, who was caught in possession on the edge of the box by Theo Robinson, who then teed up Simon Cox for the only goal.

The keeper had been praised for his role in Town’s previous eight league games, including an eye-catching save in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland and a man-of-the-match award in the stalemate with Accrington Stanley.

Barton said: “That is the great thing about it, we have got players that will learn enormous lessons from it.

“We have a group that is developing here and Al has been outstanding for us, he really has; he will have learned more from Saturday’s game than the previous eight games where he has been outstanding and that is the nature of football.

“I know for sure, on Saturday, we have a much better goalie in goal than we had last Saturday based on his learning experience and his response to it knowing his character like we do.”

It is not just Cairns who Barton hopes will progress.

After an unbeaten pre-season Town lost their opening game to AFC Wimbledon but responded with a seven-game unbeaten run in the league.

Barton said: “There will be points in the season where it does not go to plan but that will not alter my processes.

“We know it works; I believe that if you get the fundamentals done over a period it will become a habit, therefore that gives us the foundation that we build our team from.

“We got a kick up the backside and it will be very interesting to see how we respond because we now face a very tough side in our division, a side that are having a tricky run themselves.

“When we watch the footage of them and watch what they bring to it, it is more than winnable for us.”

Barton could hand first starts to Ross Wallace and Ryan Taylor with the former perhaps brought in thanks to Ash Hunter’s suspension.

He said: “They will always cause problems with their delivery.

“To be fair to Ash Hunter he has got a couple of assists so we have the quality but you can never have too much.

“We need to make sure we are on the front foot and the Fleetwood Town of previous weeks as opposed to the Fleetwood Town of the last couple of weeks.”