Joey Barton’s return to football in a management role at Fleetwood Town is not a surprise to one of his former managers in Sean Dyche.
Barton will become head coach at Highbury in June once his ban for betting expires.
The 35-year-old left Turf Moor as a result of that suspension but Dyche believes Barton is not the person who people believe him to be.
Instead, he is of the opinion that Barton’s willingness to start his coaching career in the third tier of English football is something to be applauded.
He said: “It’s not a surprise to me; he’s a strong professional and I can only speak about what he did here and how he adjusted. He was first class.
“There is a real student of the game in him despite what some may think.
“He has a strong opinion for sure, but don’t think he thinks he’s got every answer.
“I always have time for him. He wants to add into what his own instinct for the game is.
“He could have waited for a higher level but he’s willing to get his hands dirty and it’s not easy in those divisions.”
Meanwhile, Barton’s predecessor, John Sheridan, has nothing but praise for the way Town’s players have gone about their jobs.
Having been at the wrong end of League One when Sheridan came in earlier this year, Town now find themselves 14th in the table, only three points behind 10th-placed Bradford City.
He said: “There was a big concern that we might go down but the players have responded since I have come in and they have done brilliantly, results-wise and points-wise.
“The players should be proud of the way they played and the performances.
“If I’m being honest, if I go by results and what I’ve done, you believe you have a chance of the job but I have been in the game a long time so it is not really affecting me,
“I’m looking forward to the next three games and trying to win every game.
“More than anything I appreciate the club and the chairman giving me the opportunity to come in in the first place and I don’t think I have let myself down.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here – sometimes you just move on.
“I accept it and I am just concentrating on trying to beat Wigan on Saturday.”