Joey Barton is ‘itching’ for a return to action at Highbury on Saturday after an unwanted two-week break for his Fleetwood Town side.
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Sunderland’s decision to postpone last weekend’s game against Town at the Stadium of Light because of international call-ups left Fleetwood without a match since League One leaders Ipswich Town won at Highbury on October 5.
Their blank weekend saw Fleetwood slip two spots to fifth and left Barton counting down the hours until Burton Albion – who also haven’t played for a fortnight – arrive at Highbury this Saturday.
Such a break can allow injuries to heal but Town’s head coach (pictured) was struggling to find any positives.
“We’re absolutely fine and there was no need for us to have a break,” said Barton.
“We didn’t need it and we didn’t want it, especially after the disappointment of losing our unbeaten home record.
“We’ve been great here – we were unbeaten since February – so we’re itching to get back.
“I’d have loved a game on the Tuesday after Ipswich. I’m not sure all the players would but definitely, as a staff, we’d have loved a game on the Tuesday.
“But it is what it is and we use it to grow our team. We get a longer period than normal to evaluate the last game and see where we can improve.
“And as these lads have done over the course of my time here they will get better. They always get better.
“But we’re only 11 games into the season. The lads don’t need rest and recuperation.
“A lot of our lads are of the same mindset – we don’t want to be away from the training ground because it is a great place to be at the minute.
“Everyone is learning; everyone is in it together and long may it continue.”