James Wallace will be back vows Fleetwood boss Joey Barton after dazzling display is cut short by injury

James Wallace in the thick of the action at Bradford
James Wallace in the thick of the action at Bradford

Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton said James Wallace will be back as he shared his disappointment at the midfielder’s early exit in the 1-0 win at Bradford City.

READ MORE: Barton delighted with Fleetwood display but baffled by Bradford's lowly position
Wallace whipped in the cross for Paddy Madden to score the only goal of the game in the 12th minute.

But the injury-hit midfielder limped off soon after with what looked like a hamstring injury.

That paved the way for Nathan Sheron to return to the side and Barton was pleased to end the game with three young midfielders on the pitch, despite the Wallace blow.

Sheron, 21, became the first player from Town’s academy to play for the club in League One when he made his debut at Oxford in August.

He has gone on to rack up 25 appearances in a variety of roles this term.

Sheron’s last start was in the 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers in December but that wait could end when league leaders Luton Town visit Highbury on Saturday, with Wallace now a doubt.

Sheron was joined in the middle at Valley Parade by 22-year-old Harrison Biggins and Jack Sowerby, 23.

Sowerby is the club’s longest-serving player, having signed from Squires Gate in 2014.

Newly returned from his loan spell at League Two club Carlisle United, Sowerby got his first Town start since the penalty shootout win over Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup last August.

Barton said of Wallace: “He is an outstanding player. A lot of stuff he does maybe does go a little bit unnoticed.

“We knew when we brought Waldo in that we run the risk because you look at his (injury) history.

“He has had his best run of games in years. Really disappointed that he has picked up a knock.

“I’m disappointed for him because of how hard he works and the way he is as a team-mate.

“He will be back. He is a massive part of our culture, what we want to build on and off the pitch.

“That gave the opportunity for Shez to come back in and stake his claim.

“I thought he was outstanding when he came on in the defensive phases.

“His experience and maturity somewhat belies his age. He has got an old head on young shoulders.

“We finish the game with Jack Sowerby, Harrison Biggins and Nathan in there and they are all from the production line.

“I know Biggo was recruited from non-league (Stocksbridge Park Steels) but they are players that the club recognises as homegrown.

“I’m really pleased with that.”