Fleetwood Town duo back in contention?

Joey Barton
Joey Barton
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Rangers loanee Jason Holt is back and ready to make his Fleetwood Town debut at Oxford United.

The 25-year-old midfielder had impressed in Town’s seven pre-season victories but was unable to feature against AFC Wimbledon through suspension.

Jason Holt is available again after missing last week's opening day through suspension

Jason Holt is available again after missing last week's opening day through suspension

However, Town boss Joey Barton is pleased that Holt is in contention and fit for the trip to the Kassam Stadium.

He said: “Jason’s energy, his enthusiasm, his communication is infectious.

“You cannot help but miss a player of his standing, just within the group and having him back in training.

“He took a knock on his ankle at Chorley and missed a few days but he is back training.

“He sets off a chain, goes pressing and buzzes around.

“It is good to have your key players back and he will be a key player.”

One man who also missed out last weekend was defender Ash Eastham, who was a casualty of the EFL’s one homegrown player rule.

That meant Nathan Sheron got the nod but Barton has been pleased by Eastham’s response.

He said: “Ash Eastham is first class.

“I spoke to him before the game on Saturday and explained to him that, because of the homegrown rule, he would have to miss out on a spot on the bench, which he did not deserve because he has been first class.

“He was first class, encouraging, made sure he drove on the lads and did not make it difficult for them.

“He is a phenomenal team man, a selfless individual who gives to the team all the time.

“We want characters like that.

“He represents a lot of the core principles and values that we represent as human beings. We are very lucky to have him.”

Another of Town’s summer signings, 19-year-old Eddie Clarke, also missed out.

However, Barton reiterated that the left-back is still developing and is a signing for the future

He said: “Ed is on a huge learning curve; he goes from the National League with Tranmere to being in and around the squad.

“He is a long-term project and I did not think he would be somebody who started the opening day of the season and then stayed in the side.

“We knew there is a lot of work to go into him and he is on that pathway and he is making incredible progress.

“We are pleased with him but Ed has a lot of progress to make.”