Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is determined to make further progress in the FA Cup on Saturday and possibly enhance his spending power during this month’s transfer window.
After four League One games in 12 days over the festive season, Town are now looking forward to two knockout ties in four days at Highbury.
This weekend’s FA Cup third-round clash against Portsmouth will be followed by an EFL Trophy northern quarter-final against Accrington Stanley on Tuesday evening.
Barton feels that, first and foremost, the club should enjoy this distraction from the promotion race, though he believes the possible rewards are considerable.
The head coach said: “The Portsmouth game is one where we can enjoy a bit of cup football and we’ve got Accy to come in midweek. It’s a nice distraction.
“We went into those cup periods last time searching for a bit of away form.
“This time I feel we’ve answered a few of those questions, so we can go into the cup break and say, ‘Come on, let’s enjoy this, have a good cup run and try to take the town of Fleetwood down to Wembley for an afternoon.’
“That would be lovely. It would be nice if it was in the FA Cup but I’d be surprised, though you never know.
“On the flipside we’ve got a very tough fixture against a really good Pompey side, who will want to do the same.”
But Barton insists there is a monetary motivation to keep the cup run going too.
“If we can get a Man United in the fourth round or one of the big boys, that can chance your financial power in January,” he added.
“Let’s not forget football is all about finance. We all like to think we’re fantastic coaches but it helps if you’ve got a billion quid to spend as well!”
Barton will be able to watch Saturday’s tie from the dugout after serving his one-match touchline ban on Wednesday.
As for watching proceedings against Sunderland from the stands, he said: “It’s not ideal. It’s a lot easier from down here and the lads did well.
“You can’t swear any more and there’s a consequence for swearing – that you are a thousand pounds lighter in your savings account!
“I had to kick and head every ball from the gantry. We still had the walkie talkie and earphones but I’m sure they had them switched off for most of that second half!”