Joey Barton says Fleetwood don't need to sign a number nine but Town still in the race to sign Sheffield United striker Ched Evans

Paddy Madden wears number 17 but is the one recognised number nine in the Fleetwood squad
Paddy Madden wears number 17 but is the one recognised number nine in the Fleetwood squad
Share this article

Fleetwood are in the race to sign Ched Evans but boss Joey Barton won’t be worried if Town don’t sign a new number nine.

READ MORE: Barton keeps feet on ground after Fleetwood's top start
Evans, 30, returned to Sheffield United after last season’s 18-goal loan spell at Highbury.
The centre-forward has a year left on his Blades deal and manager Chris Wilder would rather sell than loan him out again.
But if Barton does not get his man, or another striker, before the transfer window closes the head coach won’t be worried.
Barton said: “You are always looking to add to certain parts of the team. We are a little bit light because we only have Paddy Madden as a recognised number nine.
“I know a few of our lads can fill in the front zones but Paddy is the only one who you can say has been a striker for a long period of time.
“In that department we are quite light. The back-up to him is a couple of younger players.
“Last year we were forced to give young players opportunities. Ours showed at the back end of last season or in pre-season that they are more than capable.
“But the reality for us is that we are in the market for another striker. Whether we get that I’m not sure.
“If we don’t, I’m sure we will be fine. I’m happy with what I have got, and I think that if anyone can add to what we have got we will do that. For me, most of our business, if not all of our business, is already done.”
The number nine shirt has not been allocated in Barton’s squad, though he insists he does not read much into numbers.
He said: “I don’t get involved in numbers. I just leave the players to it because they are all weirdly superstitious about it,which I never was.
“People read loads into us not having a number nine at the minute but that is just because Paddy has his number (17) and we have not brought in another forward.
“For me it does not matter what number you have on your back but for some it is everything.”