Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton is delighted that his commitment to attacking, positive football is paying off.
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Ched Evans scored the late winner against Rochdale on Saturday – Town’s fourth win in five at home –and Barton insists it is key to keep their foot on the accelerator against visiting teams with defensive intentions.
The head coach said: “It shows how far we have come that teams come here to sit in and try to hit us on the counter.
“It is testament to this group and to the respect we are getting from teams in this division, who probably realise what a solid outfit and a good team we are.
“Rochdale would no doubt have been quite pleased with a point.
“We made offensive subs, and as a manager you can be criticised if you lose or draw on the back of that.
“At Southend, I should probably have stayed more offensive but I went to a back five to deal with their aerial threat. But as a young coach it’s probably part of my learning journey.
“Today I was adamant we were going to be on the front foot and keep going for it. I brought young Dan Mooney on for his (home league) debut in place of Wes Burns, who has done an awful lot of good work for us.
“Making attacking subs, with two wingers and a centre-forward coming on, just added impetus.
“We were aggressive and wanted the three points, and that’s why we got them. That’s the culture of the club.
“Ched hasn’t played 90 minutes for a long time but kept causing problems with his quality and physicality.
“And when you get players like Paddy Madden and Ash Hunter coming into the game fresh, you know they will carve something out, especially against players who had played the whole game in this heat.”