Fleetwood boss Joey Barton tells Cian Bolger: You must decide if you want to leave

Cian Bolger will be out of contract at Fleetwood this summer
Cian Bolger will be out of contract at Fleetwood this summer

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is urging centre-half Cian Bolger to decide whether he wants to stay at Highbury.

READ MORE: Ashley Nadesan on his Fleetwood Town future
Hibernian were interested in the giant defender last summer and League Two Lincoln City have been linked with the 26-year-old this month.

The Irishman will be out of contract in the summer and there is no sign of him penning a new deal.

Bolger was a first-team regular under Uwe Rosler and John Sheridan but has made only 17 appearances for Barton, mainly off thebench. Academy product Nathan Sheron, 21, has been selected ahead of Bolger on occasions.

“Bolger is something I inherited at the club,” said Barton, “a situation where a player’s contract is running down. Fleetwood could lose another player, again, for nothing. I personally do not want that to happen.

“You have seen Jimmy Ryan, Conor McLaughlin, Chris Maxwell... I could name four or five others. Amari’i Bell was sold cut-price because of his contract situation.

“For me no player should leave this football club for zero. We have to stop that happening because we cannot afford to lose that revenue stream.

“It does not look like Cian is going to sign a new deal. I only want players who are absolutely committed to the team long-term.

“In my opinion he should make his decision. Either he stays or he goes. Only Cian can make that choice.He is in control of it with his agent and advisors.

“But I want the situation resolved one way or another because I only want players who want to be here, who want to give everything for the club.

“ We have not got enough money for the sort of individuals who can get you out of the league. What we have to do is build a system, build a team to do what we need to do. That takes absolute commitment from everyone on and off the pitch.

“I’m not saying Bolge is not committed but I just know that if your contract is running out there is a certain psychological state you must be in.

“If you are out of contract in the summer and you pick up an injury it could jeopardise your future. That can sometimes lead to performance issues. We have to protect against that and plan for the medium and long term.

“If he is not going to be here, we have to give minutes to players who are. We have Nathan Sheron and James Hill.

“Those kind of boys are part of Fleetwood’s long-term future.

“As a manager, it is great if you play Bolge because he is an experienced League One player, but it is a short-term fix because he could leave in summer, if not in January, and then you start again from scratch.

“Would you be better blooding youngsters who will go on to be first-team players?

“We have some exciting younger players here. It is important that we start to give them some first-team experience.”