Joey Barton keeps close eye on Fleetwood Town's rivals during blank week

Joey Barton watch Saturday's opponents Rochdale draw with Lincoln on Tuesday
Joey Barton watch Saturday's opponents Rochdale draw with Lincoln on Tuesday
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Joey Barton has taken advantage of a match-free week to run the rule over Fleetwood Town’s rivals.

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Despite the opportunity for a bit of R&R, the Cod Army’s head coach would rather see his side out on the pitch.

Barton and his staff instead made the most of an opportunity to watch forthcoming opponents, including tomorrow’s visitors Rochdale

He said: “You see everyone else playing and you want to be out there.

“The way our lads are playing at the minute – some of the football we’re playing – we just can’t wait for the next game.

“It’s a little bit of a strange one but you are able to get out and watch opposition games.

“All the staff were out at different games during the Tuesday night fixture list.

“That allows us to prep for the five or six weeks of games ahead by having seen teams live, which is not always easy to do.

“We were expected to play Bury but we used the negative of not having a game in a positive manner to get eyes on our future opponents.”

Barton himself watched Rochdale bounce back from a 6-0 hammering at Peterborough United to draw 1-1 with Lincoln City at Spotland.

“We had a good watch of them and it was a good game actually,” he said.

“We’ll be prepping for our opponents on Saturday, having seen them first-hand on Tuesday night.

“We have a really good analysis team and scouting team here – not much falls between the cracks.

“But it is good to see them live because you get a different perspective in the stadium.”

And Barton was impressed by Dale’s courageous style, adding: “They’re a really brave passing team. They play out from the back come what may.

“Brian (Barry-Murphy, manager) has gone in there and he’s got his thoughts. He’s a good guy. They’re really bold.

“It’s certainly a stylistic change because you could hear the Rochdale fans groaning at certain passages, which shows that it’s not normal.

“There was lots of support also in the Rochdale crowd because it is a passing game.

“The way they do it is a bit unorthodox and we’ll have to make a couple of adjustments because of that.”