New Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton bids to recreate special bond of 2012

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Joey Barton is bidding to restore the spirit of 2012 in his Fleetwood reign.

Town’s new head coach is hoping to emulate the success of the 2011-12 campaign, when the club rose into the Football League.

Pictures Martin Bostock Fleetwood Town v Northampton. Andy Mangan for Fleetwood.

Pictures Martin Bostock Fleetwood Town v Northampton. Andy Mangan for Fleetwood.

It was in the summer following that promotion that Barton, then a QPR player, trained with Town and experienced that spirit for himself.

Barton has won promotions from the Championship with Newcastle and Burnley, and he knows exactly what ingredients are needed for such success.

A key element is a bonded team on and off the pitch, and that is something Barton will be looking to instil when the players return for pre-season training next Monday.

Speaking about that brief training stint at Town, he recalled: “I knew Andy Mangan. He has been a friend of mine for a long time.

“He always reminds me he was a massive part of that partnership with Jamie Vardy. He tells everybody he got Vardy where he is right now!

“I was aware of what the club was doing but you also realise how difficult it is to get out of the Conference.

“For me that is the most competitive league in the English pyramid. It is such a tough league.

“None of us knew at the time Fleetwood had a world- class player in Vardy up front, which always helps!

“But there was a solid foundation behind them – your Nathan Ponds, Jamie Maguires.

“The thing I thought would take them far was that they were a real team. You could see the ambition off the pitch but also they loved what they were doing and spending time together.

“We have got to create that because all good sides have that. All good sides I have played in are close on and off the pitch.

“It is no coincidence that people you love working with are generally the people you are more successful with.

“You have to be at one with the people you play for and it is important we create that.

“I don’t know what has happened in the last 12 months – it really is none of my business – but from June 18, when the players come back, it is important that we do lots of things to bond them on and off the pitch.

“Ultimately they are the ones that cross the white line, they are the ones that go to war.

“You go out on a pitch and it is psychological warfare, emotional warfare and physical warfare.

“It is my job and the coaching staff’s job to support the players and give them every help they need to win games of football when they cross the white line”