Fleetwood Town boss Barton understands fan frustration over Kyle Dempsey Peterborough United exit

Fleetwood Town's Kyle Dempsey in action
Fleetwood Town's Kyle Dempsey in action
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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton understands why the fans are frustrated by Kyle Dempsey’s loan move to Peterborough but explained the reasons for the deal.

Dempsey was a regular starter in the previous two seasons but was moulded into a defensive midfielder by Uwe Rosler. When Barton arrived he spoke of a desire for the 23-year-old to add more goals to his game, but with just five starts the midfielder has not been able to claim a regular spot in either of Barton’s most familiar 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 systems.

Barton is well aware that Dempsey is one of the highest-paid players at the club and desires to play regularly, and the head coach says the loan move is the best for both parties at present.

As for fans being disappointed at the deal, Barton said: “I totally get it. Fans turn up and pay their money.

“I completely understand that fans have favourites. I grew up as a football fan. I had favourites.

“My heroes were (Everton’s) Joe Parkinson and Barry Horne – not the most flamboyant of players but I loved them.

“Occasionally they would not have very good games, the manager would take them off and I would get a little bit frustrated because I loved what they brought to it. I totally get it.

“There is no part of me that thinks Kyle is a bad player. There is no part of me that thinks the fans don’t appreciate what he has done for the club, along with Bobby Grant and other players who have been here.

“I would have to say the level I have played at and the places I have been to are places Fleetwood can only dream about. I know the route map to get there. I know what it takes in terms of a team energy.

“I would like to have kept Kyle inside, shown him the system and allowed him to learn the system. But he wants to play football and there are financial constraints on us as a football club.

“I can’t keep a player who is one of our highest-paid sitting on the bench, unhappy about not playing games.

“I do not want players happy not playing. He is getting frustrated and wants to go and play games. I have to do the right thing by everybody.

“I have got to manage the football club to get what is the best for Kyle and what is the best for the football club, not what is best, at times, for the fans.”

But Barton added the door is not closed. He said: “The only way you learn and improve is by playing games on a Saturday.

“We could not get him that game time, so he goes to Peterborough, a side who are above us in the table.

“He has an opportunity to chuck himself into a position to start games for them. Once the season ends we will see where it is at. We wish him all the best.”