Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton wants rookie bosses to be given more patience

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton and former Bradford City manager Michael Collins
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton and former Bradford City manager Michael Collins
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Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton believes younger managers need time to develop as he prepared for today’s game against Bradford City.

At the age of 36, Barton is the youngest boss in the top four divisions, having inherited that mantle following the exit of Michael Collins.

He was the Bradford manager at the start of the season but was sacked following September’s 2-1 defeat at Highbury.

That was his sixth league game in charge and he left with the Bantams 17th in League One.

When asked if Collins should have been given more time at Valley Parade, Barton said: “I think all young managers need time.

“I can only use my experience of that. I came in the summer and thought I had all the ideas and all the solutions for everything; I sit here in front of you and realise I didn’t.

“I think that is just the pursuit. It is maturing through life.

“I think back to conversations with my parents and grandparents at 16 and 17 when I felt I knew absolutely everything and they were wrong.

“It is only with the benefit of hindsight and getting a bit more mature and wiser that you realise they were right.

“Michael was 32 at the time and was considerably younger than I was.

“Of course you need time. You need time to find your way, your ideas and for some people that can happen quicker than others because they have a certain level of confidence.”

Five months on from Collins’ exit and Bradford have dropped to 22nd in the table, a dozen places lower than Town.

Barton admitted it was a surprise to see them in that position.

He said: “You always want to test yourselves against big crowds and against the better sides in the division.

“At the start of the season you would have been surprised to make a prediction of Bradford staring over their shoulder for most of the year and a potential relegation.

“Just based on sheer size of club and fanbase, you would expect them to be powerful enough to be in the higher positions in the division.

“That has not transpired for them this year but it does not take away what will be a difficult task.

“League One has shown there are small margins between the teams.

“If you look at the results on a weekend it is a hugely competitive division.”