Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton lifts the lid on Portsmouth postponement

Joey Barton has explained the decision behind Fleetwood Town requesting the postponement of Saturday’s match with Portsmouth.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 6:00 am
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton

Town were left with time for rest over the international break, thanks to Harry Souttar, Billy Crellin and Dan Mooney being called up for their countries.

But Barton was scathingly honest when revealing why he wanted the game called off from a footballing perspective with Fleetwood having won just one of their last six away league games.

“We’re just rubbish away from home at the minute, it’s dead straightforward,” Barton said.

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“Portsmouth is going to be a tough place to go; they know they’re in a false league position, they’re a good side.

“We’re not doing particularly well away from home, it’s the last place I want to go with a side that’s not functioning away from home.

“Hopefully we get the opportunity to play them at home beforehand because we’re brilliant at home.

“If we beat them at home then we go down there and there will be a fear factor.

“It’ll be a Tuesday night, so they’ll have less fans in the stadium.

“I’ve already been tweeted by lots of Portsmouth fans calling me all sorts of things because it’s been called off, which is fantastic because it seems it’s a correct decision if it’s upset the Portsmouth fans.”

Away from the pitch, Town were also considerate of their travelling support.

The club didn’t want fans to make travel arrangements, only to have the contest rearranged.

Barton said: “I still think Portsmouth may have called the game off; they still had the option to do it, they had enough call-ups.

“But we decided, because we didn’t want the fans arranging travel and the financial expense for that, to call it relatively early.

“We thought of our fans travelling all the way down to Portsmouth or certainly making plans to do that and then we announce that we’re going to postpone the game.

“So we felt we should do that at the earliest possible point.

“Normally I would have waited until the last minute because you don’t want to give anyone an advantage.

“They’re a top-six side, I know they’re not sitting there at the minute but make no bones about it, Pompey are a top-six side.

“If we’ve got a little bit of weakness around us away from home, like we’ve got, then we need to iron that out before we get there.”