Joey Barton looking forward to a fully-fit squad at Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood look forward to welcoming Conor McAleny back into the fold after injury
Fleetwood look forward to welcoming Conor McAleny back into the fold after injury
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Joey Barton is looking forward to having a full complement of players available as he prepares for Fleetwood’s visit to Southend United on Saturday.

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The Town boss will be pleased to have midfielder Jack Sowerby and forward Conor McAleny involved with the squad again.

The pair both picked up injuries in the 1-1 draw with Wycombe last month, McAleny’s ankle injury sustained at a time when the forward was coming into good form.

Barton said: “Jack Sowerby and Conor McAleny are at the end of their rehabilitation, so I expect them to join back in with the group in the next few days and then we’re up to the full complement. So that’s good news.

“He (McAleny) will be a big player for us. It was a bit of a loss picking up the injury when he did because he was just coming into a nice vein of form.

“He’d started to score and we were really excited with how he was progressing.

“It was a little bit of a setback for him but luckily for us we had Ched Evans and Paddy Madden ready to pick up the slack.

“We want all players available because we’ve got some good quality there and they help us become a better team.”

The Cod Army boss wants his side to “come out swinging” in the encounter with Southend at Roots Hall.

The Shrimpers are the only side to have lost all of their games so far in League One and have been without a manager since Kevin Bond’s resignation last Friday.

However, Fleetwood have lost all four away matches since their opening-day win at Peterborough United and will be on their guard.

Town stand fourth in the table but Barton warned: “I see every game as a boxing match – you go in there and you come out swinging.

“You’re as liable to go out there and get chinned early doors as you are to chin someone.

“The league table suggests we’re a different level of team to Southend but we’re still in the same division.

“We didn’t beat them last season – we drew here and they beat us down at their place – so we have to give them the utmost professional courtesy.

“We have to make sure we’re as efficient and as good as we have been in terms of passing quality. If we’re not on it, they have more than enough good individuals to cause us problems.

“They’ve got some talented players there and we will have to be at our best to take points from the game.”