Joey Barton: Fleetwood Town are the underdogs going into Rotherham United trip

Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town’s trip to Rotherham United this afternoon sees them face one of League One’s more powerful sides – on and off the pitch.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:00 am
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton

The Millers were relegated from the Championship last season, their second relegation from the division in three years.

However, the Fleetwood boss believes that today’s hosts will be a good test for his players, who are looking to strike up some form away from home.

“We go to Rotherham whose budget will be seven, eight, nine million pounds this season,” Barton said.

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“They have lots of talented players, they played in the Championship last season, lovely stadium.

“We go there and we want to compete and give a good account of our town and our football club.

“On Saturday we get a chance to do that. If we win there – we haven’t been great away from home – it can propel us back into the top six of the division.

“It’ll make everyone sit up and take notice.

“For our lads, there’s no pressure, everyone expects Rotherham to beat Fleetwood at home. It’s a great encounter for us.

“When I look at them and think there are players in our team who, if serviced correctly, could cause a lot of problems against a side that is expected to get promoted this season.

“We’ll get a thorough examination at Rotherham on Saturday because they are one of the more powerful financial sides in the division.

“They have some real quality performers that can cause you problems.”

Having spent a season-and-a-half in the head coach’s role, Barton is bullish about the work he has done at Highbury.

Nevertheless, he claimed there would be fewer things for him to worry about if he had the same financial pulling power as some of the division’s other teams.

“If I walked out the football club tomorrow, I’d have been a success here because the football club is in a miles better state than when I found it,” Barton explained.

“We want to get promoted but you can only move them as fast as they will move and not faster.

“I wish I had £15m in my budget. I’d actually just love to be the same as some of the other sides in the division; eight, nine million.

“If I had that finance, on a budget of three million this season…

“I’m sure myself and a lot of other managers in this division would love an extra five million in the pot.

“If we had that, I don’t think we’d be worrying about our away form.”