Fleetwood Town trio staying would give the club continuity

Fleetwood Town's Ashley Eastham
Fleetwood Town's Ashley Eastham

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton admits he is happy to leave contract talks to higher figures in the club with Cian Bolger, Ash Eastham and Bobby Grant set to see their deals expire in the summer.

Bolger and Eastham joined the club in the summer of 2016 and have been key figures in defence for Uwe Rosler, John Sheridan and Barton.

Between them, they have made more than 400 league appearances and, if they were to stay along with Grant, it would breed the continuity which Barton is seeking.

He said: “Cian’s situation has been rumbling on for a while.

“I’m not sure if the club expected to be here at this moment.

“When I came in we were preparing for him not to be at the club.

“It has been great for us, he has been first class as a pro and if there is an opportunity to extend his contract I’m sure the club will look at that because he has a market value and he has been a good player for the club over the years, scoring important goals.

“It would be naive of us not to engage those players and speak about keeping them at the club because, as well as bringing bodies in, you do want to keep a continuity.

“If we can get those lads for longer periods then it gets us that continuity.”

While Barton tends not to be involved in contracts, he wants the final say on transfers in dealing with chairman Andy Pilley and chief executive Steve Curwood.

He said: “I totally get why people have sporting directors. I get that, as a modern day player; I’m cool with that, I’m really cool with that.

“As long as I have the final say, as long as I am part of the conversation, there is no issue with that.

“If we were to sign players on extended contracts that I did not feel were beneficial to us as a team then clearly, as a manager, you would not be very pleased with that.

“But you understand that there is an asset value attached to all players and that the club sometimes make business decisions.

“That is part of being a modern day football manager or football player.”