Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton sees a ‘psychological’ shift as the reason for their matchwinning second-half stint against Charlton Athletic last weekend.
Town would be in the top six had their games ended at half-time but, as it stands, they are 10th in the League One table and seven points behind sixth-placed Peterborough United.
The only goal last Saturday came when Ash Hunter’s cross was nodded down by Paddy Madden for Ched Evans to score in the 68th minute.
Hunter had come off the bench in the 61st minute at Highbury along with Jack Sowerby after the latter had returned to Fleetwood following his loan spell with Carlisle United.
When asked if Hunter and Sowerby had pushed themselves into contention for starts at Bradford City on Saturday, Barton insisted he wanted those players on the bench to see missing out on a starting spot as a positive in that it was a chance for them to win the game.
He said: “I want the bench to really be impactful because that is how it should be.
“If anything, part of our second-half issues in the first part of the year is because we did not make enough impact off the bench.
“Maybe that is the psychology of people on there thinking ‘oh I am not in the starting XI’ when, actually, the psychology should be ‘I’m the one who is going to come on and win the game and change the game’.
“Ash played a huge part in the goal and Jack came on and played a couple of different positions due to Wes (Burns) picking up an injury.
“But I thought the minute they came into the game there was a lift.
“I think there was a lift in the stadium because I know with Ash he carries that expectation and the fans know the impact he can have as well as we do.
“But also the raise in tempo that both lads brought, I think was important for the team at that time and helped us really improve in the second period.”