Joey Barton: Fleetwood Town head coach’s role came quicker than I thought

Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
Fleetwood Town head coach Joey Barton
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Joey Barton admitted his first season as Fleetwood Town head coach proved to be a huge learning curve.

As Barton acknowledged, it was a move into the unknown given his lack of experience as a boss.

He said: “As the head coach, your ideas are always in that evolutionary stage, the minute you think you’re done, you become that older, senior statesman, but as a young coach you should always be trying to develop that idea.

“If there’s a system that’s working for you, it’s important you settle on that, but people forget I walked straight out of playing pretty much.

“I didn’t do the coaching route, didn’t do the apprenticeship route; maybe I would have done under Dychey (Sean Dyche) at Burnley should I have chosen to go that way.

“The opportunity arose a lot quicker than that; I threw myself in at the deep end, and the fact I’m still in a job a year on, in terms of how volatile the industry is, is a benchmark that you must know something about management, but the challenge now is to develop this team.”

So far, Barton has brought in six players during the summer with Lewie Coyle, Danny Andrew, Harry Souttar, Josh Morris, Paul Coutts and Jordan Rossiter all moving to Highbury.

That isn’t the end of Town’s summer dealings but their display in Tuesday’s pre-season match with Burnley has excited the boss.

He said: “From Christmas onward, I really had a strong idea in mind of how I want to see my team play, but the January window was more about getting players out than getting them in; I think I lost 13 and brought one in.

“So everything had to be curtailed until we could do busines in the summer, and we’ve managed to do some good business.

“We have a little bit more to do, but that team is representing the way I see football should be played.

“The Burnley staff, were saying ‘wow, you’ve done some really good things’, and that includes some really young players coming on and taking the performance on the last 20 minutes.

“We have to create a team people love to come and watch, and if the lads continue in that vein, it sets us up for a really exciting season.”

“I thought we looked really fit and played some good stuff barring the early period at Carlisle.

“We have many pieces of the jigsaw in place, and we’ll find out against Peterborough how good we are.

“But we’re confident we’ll be better than last year, which was a steady away year, and we’ll continue that upward curve and momentum.”