Joey Barton wants his Fleetwood Town players to lay the foundations for success next season

Joey Barton is targeting a winning end to the season to set Fleetwood Town up for next year’s League One campaign.

By Rosie Swarbrick
Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 6:30 am
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton knows what he wants of his players
Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton knows what he wants of his players

Town find themselves 10th in the table with 13 games to go.

They are eight points off a play-off spot with sixth-placed Doncaster Rovers also boasting two games in hand.

When asked if he felt the play-offs were still a possibility after the 2-1 defeat to league leaders Luton Town, Barton admitted it would be difficult.

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However, despite seeing his dreams of promotion fading, the head coach wants Fleetwood to end the season on a high – and used West Bromwich Albion as an example for his side.

Barton pointed to Albion’s 2016-17 season that saw them cruise to Premier League safety but then lose nine of their last 12 games.

The next year, the Baggies finished bottom of the pile and were relegated with Barton stressing the importance of building momentum and a winning mentality.

He said: “I think that (defeat to Luton) makes it tough.

“I think it was a long shot anyway but that does not mean we should stop striving towards it because I am a keen believer in momentum.

“A couple of years ago West Brom got to 40 points really quickly, coasted home and the next year they got relegated because they lost the momentum of what made them a good side.

“We have got to make sure that we win every game because that builds momentum, breeds belief and you start to get your ideas over quicker because it is working as you have seen in recent weeks.

“That gives you the ability to have a fantastic summer and a superb pre-season with the lads.

“I am crystal clear about what I have got to do in terms of recruitment and locking in the work we have to do.

“That will give us a fantastic opportunity of hitting the ground running next season.

“I don’t want to get too carried away with next season because we have got a lot of winnable games between now and then; a good opportunity for us to build our team structures and lock in things we need to lock in to be successful.”