The door is open for a Fleetwood Town starting spot

Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
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Joey Barton has told his players there is still a chance to force their way into Fleetwood Town’s starting line-up ahead of the new League One season on August 4.

Barton’s unbeaten start continued with a sixth win from six as Town beat Tranmere Rovers 2-0 at the weekend.

One of his new signings, Ched Evans, scored on his debut as the club’s other new boys, striker Chris Long and midfielder James Wallace, were not fit enough to feature at Prenton Park.

With midfielder Jason Holt suspended for the opener at Highbury against AFC Wimbledon, there is competition across the board for a place in the starting line-up.

Only new number one Alex Cairns, who is yet to concede this pre-season, is nailed on to start that game barring injury or a major mistake in their final preparation games against Morecambe on Saturday and Chorley next Monday.

Barton has at least two players battling it out for each spot in his 4-3-3 and a number of options in the attacking positions.

When asked if he knows his starting team just yet he said: “No, not really, no.

“I think everybody is still competing for spots.

“You want people to take the jersey and cement their place in it and say ‘this is my spot’ but due to the nature of pre-season you are constantly adjusting the team to get minutes under their belt.

“We had a really tough training week, Wednesday in particular being really difficult for them.

“On 60 minutes a few of them were still feeling the effects of a mammoth session.

“I thought the lads who came off the bench really helped to build on the first period.”