Barton expects more of his Fleetwood Town squad

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton celebrates victory against Bradford City
Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton celebrates victory against Bradford City
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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton says the best is yet to come from his players as they aim to make another statement at Sunderland.

Fleetwood are five unbeaten in League One, yet to lose on the road and also to concede on their travels.

That includes a 5-0 win at Scunthorpe United and a 2-1 victory with 10 men against Bradford City, which proved the last game in charge for their manager that day, Michael Collins.

It also extended their unbeaten run in the league with their only defeat since the opening day coming in the Carabao Cup at Leicester City.

Barton said: “You don’t win with 10 men if you are not a team.

“The cup game was an anomaly, we are a proper team and that is growing.

“As long as that continues, the best is yet to come from our team.

“Relationships are forming, bonds are forming, players are getting up to fitness and building up relationships and we are building nicely in the right direction.”

While the Leicester game saw Town come up against a number of Premier League players, Barton insists his team goes to the Stadium of Light on a level playing field.

He said: “We go there as equals, we don’t go there in terms of finances and personnel but as a team I don’t look at them and go ‘wow.’

“I see a lot of lads who are playing for them who are League One players; let’s be honest, they are not Premier League superstars.

“It is a good test for us and a good yardstick of how good we are as a team.

“Jack (Ross, Sunderland manager) is a smart guy; he will know what is in store for them on Saturday and he knows it will be a competitive fixture.”