Joey Barton praised his Fleetwood Town side’s professionalism after earning their place in tonight’s FA Cup second-round draw.
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A goal in each half by Ched Evans and Ash Hunter did the damage at Barnet’s Hive stadium yesterday lunchtime as the Cod Army avoided a potential banana skin at the National League club.
Head coach Barton said of the 2-0 win: “It was a very professional performance and I’m pleased to be through.
“I think it was a very good cup performance.
“We’ve come away from home, and especially as the side higher up in the football pyramid there was a bit of a target on our back.
“We saw that Barnet dumped Sheffield United out at the third-round stage last season. We knew we were in for a good cup-tie and that’s how it transpired.
“We get the better of today’s goals and we’re deserved winners in the end.”
Barton named a strong squad for the trip to north London, with potent forwards Paddy Madden, Ash Hunter and Wes Burns all coming off the bench.
There were 52 places separating the two sides in the football pyramid.
But Barton was wary of becoming another FA Cup scalp in the capital on the day League Two’s Leyton Orient were dumped out by Maldon and Tiptree of the Isthmian League.
And Town were only too aware that last season Darren Currie’s Barnet knocked out Sheffield United, now of the Premier League, before forcing Brentford to a replay in the fourth round.
But Barton said: “We’ve got that quality. You hope that when you get to the 50, 60 or 70-minute mark that our fitness and legs would take over.
“It kind of did and we have the strength off the bench with Paddy Madden, Wes Burns and Ash Hunter to come on.
“I’m not particularly sure any back four in our league would be happy to see those boys coming on, let alone a side that’s in the Conference.”
And there was never any doubt in Barton’s mind that he would have to name a powerful line-up for the tricky tie.
He added: “We had to name the strongest possible squad.
“I knew we needed to be at full-strength. If we were at 60 or 70 per cent, then we would have been dumped out.
“Last season they dumped out Sheffield United in the third round and I saw them play Brentford in the fourth round, when they gave them a real go as well.
“I watched that on the TV, so I knew we couldn’t take them lightly.”