Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton compares top scorer Paddy Madden to Premier League hitman Charlie Austin

Fleetwood Town striker Paddy Madden
Fleetwood Town striker Paddy Madden
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Joey Barton has classed Paddy Madden in the same goalscoring class as Southampton striker Charlie Austin.

Madden has netted 17 goals for Town this season with just two of those goals needing more than one touch.

The 28-year-old has eight one-touch strikes, five headers, two penalties and a pair of two-touch finishes thus far.

The latest one-touch strike came in Town’s 1-0 win over Bradford City last time out.

As they prepare to face League One leaders Luton Town, Barton says the former Yeovil Town and Scunthorpe United forward sets the bar high, not just through his goalscoring exploits but also his fitness levels and approach to training.

Barton played at QPR from 2011-15 with Austin arriving at Loftus Road in 2013.

When asked if he agreed with Ash Eastham’s view that Madden was League One’s best one-touch finisher, Barton said: “It is tough to argue it based on those stats.

“He is phenomenal at it. Usually, if he takes a touch, you are a bit gutted because he is so prolific at that one-touch finish.

“I just think he is a great goalscorer. I’ve played with a few, the likes of Charlie Austin.

“He is a different type to Pad but, also, he just has that horrible habit of scoring goals.

“I don’t care how he gets them, whether it is one or 15, as long as he keeps getting them because he has been outstanding for us this year.

“He has really led that front line in terms of goals but there is a lot more to his game.

“His work for the team sets the bar. We are asking the lads to get to the level of Paddy Madden.

“Over the course of the season they have started to chase him down as the kind of marathon man in our team.

“At the age he is at, with the career he has had, for him to be the hardest working or amongst the hardest working sets the tone.

“Because you say ‘if he can do it, everybody else can’.

“The lads have responded to that accordingly.”