Fleetwood Town boss Barton: Why we recalled Billy Crellin from FC United

Billy Crellin
Billy Crellin
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Meaning no disrespect to FC United of Manchester, Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton said he recalled Billy Crellin from his loan there because playing in a losing team would not benefit the goalkeeper’s development.

The 18-year-old England Under-19 keeper was recalled from the National League North club this week.

Barton is a fan of the loan system, but FC United have won only one of their opening 10 games and he feels Crellin’s time is better spent around Town’s first-team squad.

He said: “It is good for Billy to get that game experience but they did not exactly have that good form. There are only so many times you can lose before it starts to affect you.

“The difficulty for Billy was that our team is doing really well, we are on a good run and he is a huge part of the England group. No disrespect to FC United but they are getting beat every week – I can’t see how that helps his development.

“I think it would be better for him at this moment in time to be around us. The Checkatrade games and the Fylde game (a Lancashire Senior Cup tie which Crellin played in on Tuesday) will be good tests for him with players he is more likely to play with in the future, building relationships with them.

“Having the likes of Nathan Sheron, Tommy Spurr, Gethin Jones and Eddie Clarke in front of him is going to serve him and us better.

“He did fantastically well in difficult circumstances at FC United. If there is another opportunity for him to go out in the future that is the right move for him, we will do that.

“My priority is Billy’s career and his development.

“I have to look after him as I see fit. History will judge us on whether it is the right decision to recall him.

“At this moment I think playing against Paddy Madden, Ched Evans and Chris Long every day is going to be more beneficial for him.”