Joey Barton explains change of captain from Ash Eastham to Ched Evans for defeat at Coventry

Joey Barton explained his decision to give Ched Evans the Fleetwood captaincy ahead of Ash Eastham at Coventry last night, saying he needs  to “spread leadership” throughout his team.
New captain Ched Evans heads Fleetwood level at Ricoh ArenaNew captain Ched Evans heads Fleetwood level at Ricoh Arena
New captain Ched Evans heads Fleetwood level at Ricoh Arena

READ MORE: Second Midlands defeat in four days for Fleetwood at Coventry

Vice-captain Eastham has taken the armband since Craig Morgan was injured.

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But after Saturday’s defeat at Walsall, Barton made three changes and named a new skipper for last night’s 2-1 loss at Ricoh Arena.

Ashley Nadesan, Nathan Sheron and Lewie Coyle returned to the line-up, with Ash Hunter, Jack Sowerby and James Husband moving to the bench.

Coyle played out of position at left-back and his tame back-pass led to the Sky Blues’ sixth-minute opener against the run of play.

Skipper Evans equalised but ex-Town attacker Jordy Hiwula scored the winner just before half-time.

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Despite 22 efforts to Coventry’s eight, Fleetwood are now seven points adrift of the play-off zone with nine to play.

Of the captaincy, Barton said: “I think we should share it amongst us, especially after the game at Walsall with the club captain Morgs being out for a period of time.

“Ash has had a go in there. We want to spread leadership among the team.

“I felt Ched led the line superbly. He was the talisman for the team and got his goal.

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“The captaincy is not important. We want 11 captains out there and we have players growing into that role.

“Ched is an alpha male within our group. When he plays well we tend to play well as a team.

“I thought he was excellent and everyone was lifted by that.

“I thought the lads were superb. They had a right go and sometimes you come up short.

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Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good in football. For Coventry tonight that is the case.

“I wanted a response from the lads from a poor half at Walsall and I thought we were by far the better side.

“A great goal by Jordy Hiwula ends up winning the game but we controlled large portions of it.

“We will win lots more games than we lose playing like that. I asked for a response and the lads gave it to us.

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“If we’d got the results we should from the last two games we would be sitting in the play-off spots.

“We have a tough game against Plymouth on Saturday and if we play like that we will get three points.”