Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton has stood by his comments in the build-up to last weekend’s derby.
Barton was quite inflammatory in what he said, predicting Blackpool’s line-up, saying the Seasiders aren’t a big club and claiming everything about Fleetwood – aside from the history – is better than their Pool counterparts.
Having said Town have the better players, Barton began to question his own claim, having apparently had the opportunity to bring some of them to Highbury.
Speaking after Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Boomfield Road, Barton said: “It’s what I believe, I didn’t disrespect Blackpool; I know they’re a good team, I know Simon’s a good coach.
“If I go through their side, they’ve got a lot of players that we knocked back, and after the result today, you kind of have to think ‘were we right to knock them back?’ That’s football.
“I believe in our group, I believe in our club, I believe in our players and when asked questions about that, I practise that on a daily basis, I live that.
“I believe our team is capable of going and winning anywhere.
“Today, we didn’t manage to do that.”
Barton has queried the mental fortitude of this side a couple of times already this season and again felt there were questions of his side.
Five wins in a row, three coming away from home, in all competitions had breathed fresh life into the Cod Army on the road.
But in the league, Fleetwood have won just two of eight away games this season, losing five.
However, the Town head coach did acknowledge that Bloomfield Road is a tough place to go for visiting sides.
“We’re a good football team, we’ve won five games on the spin in all competitions and we’ve shown that we can compete,” he explained.
“The problem for us seems to be in key moments, similar to last season, just when you have that opportunity to step into the next phase.
“It’s not easy coming and winning here, loads of teams have found that out this season.
“It’s not easy when they get a full stadium and they’re desperate to beat Fleetwood.
“Although they say it’s not a derby we all know they don’t want to get beaten by us and they didn’t enjoy getting beaten by us last season.
“The challenge for our players is to come here and win this game.
“We have to give Simon and the Blackpool lads credit. They got the job done.”