Joey Barton ready for late night in the office at Fleetwood before transfer deadline

Joey Barton admits it will be a waiting game and a test of nerve as he strives to boost his Fleetwood squad ahead of tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 6:00 am
Fleetwood have been strongly linked with Everton defender Lewis Gibson

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The Gazette understands that a deal for Everton defender Lewis Gibson is very close. The teenager could follow Callum Connolly in moving from Goodison Park to Highbury this month.

Town have also signed Glenn Whelan and completed a permanent deal for Lewie Coyle in January, and Barton has loan slots available after injury ruled out Jordan Rossiter for the rest of the campaign.

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The head coach is ready for the final hours of the window to turn “spicy” once again. Barton added: “We are going to have to hold our nerve because we have no money, so it is going to be one in, one out. Who they are is still up in the air. There are a million permutations.

“Last January was a bit about holding on to what we had, and it didn’t get spicy until the last day of the window

“But we have to be active in the market. The chairman and Steve Curwood (chief executive) have been here multiple times, so their experience will be absolutely vital. I had a good chat with the chairman on Sunday and he knows exactly where we are.

“Biggo’s injury puts us under the gun a bit (Harrison Biggins suffered a facial injury against Coventry which could end his season).

“We’ll strap ourselves in for Friday and it looks like we’ll be late in the office.”

It was Barton’s assistant Clint Hill who conducted Town’s weekly press conference ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Doncaster Rovers and he said of the club’s deadline-day prospects: “Everyone in this division seems to be going after the same players, and there are some big, big teams in this division.

“So when you go for a player and you find out one of the top boys is in there, your chances are a bit diminished. We’re hoping for a couple, like everybody, and we’re working really hard because we could do with a few.”

Barton has stated his dislike for the winter window and it is no different this year, although he hopes to work the system to Town’s advantage today.

“I can’t bear the window,” he added. “I’m buzzing for February 1, when I know the group I’ve got until the end of the season. But with the injury to Biggo it’s good the window is still open.

“It would be nice if we had a bit more disposable cash but we don’t.

“They don’t teach you all this stuff on your coaching courses. You have to experience it first hand.

“You can see we are so close and we aren’t that many pieces of the jigsaw away from clicking.

“We think we’ve identified them, and if we can convert them we’ll be happy and then kick on into the back end of the season.”

But Barton stressed his faith in the players already at his disposal, adding: “I’ll back our lads to go anywhere. They never let us down and have a right go every week.

“And if the supporters get behind us we might give them a bit of a rollercoaster.

“If we get to the play-offs I wouldn’t mind playing Coventry again over two legs or in the final.

“They are a good side but so are we.”