Fleetwood Town coach Steve Eyre knew Joey Barton and Burton Albion’s Nigel Clough would become managers

Fleetwood Town defied torrential conditions to defeat Burton Albion earlier in the season
Fleetwood Town defied torrential conditions to defeat Burton Albion earlier in the season
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Fleetwood Town coach Steve Eyre says he knew that Nigel Clough and Joey Barton would go on to manage after watching them in training at Manchester City.

The two go head to head this afternoon with Town making the trip to Burton Albion.

Clough had a spell at City from 1996-98 at the end of his career, while Barton joined the club’s youth ranks in 1997.

Having witnessed both players in training, Eyre had no doubt that Clough, who first took charge of Burton in 1998, and Barton would go on to become managers.

He said: “We had some serious expertise in the building.

“Nigel Clough was probably at the end of his career but still contributing and our manager was at the start of his career, fighting to get a career, and went on to become an England international.

“It was that point of seeing, certainly with our manager how he fast tracks himself and upskills himself at everything he does.

“Nigel Clough is a man I have known and been up against on the touchline for many years at Derby County, Sheffield United and Burton.

“I was privileged to watch him train every day.

“When people think of his career they think of him as Nottingham Forest and Liverpool but people forget he was a £1m signing for Man City.

“I was a young coach in the building and I had the privilege of watching both managers on Saturday training every day playing for Manchester City.

“I know how he works his football teams; they are organised and structured, mature, physical.”

Burton are two points below Town in the League One table and lost 1-0 in horrendous weather conditions at Highbury earlier this season.

Albion were relegated from the Championship at the end of last season but Eyre says he is not surprised at their current position in the League One table.

“There are some big clubs above us with big budgets,” he said.

“I think Burton have got a similar model to us and have been on a similar journey.

“I think there is a good affinity between the two clubs.

“There was the Wembley game that our club thankfully was on the right side of (League Two play-off final in 2014).

“We know what we are up against; despite the bad weather in the last game we felt we were better than them on the day.

“We thought we deserved our win and we really enjoy beating football clubs which is what we are aiming to do on Saturday.”