Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town will start to see Wes Burns’ full potential once the Welshman starts adding goals to his game.
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The 24-year-old was the club’s player of the year last season, having featured up front, in defence and on the wing.
So far this season, he has started all nine of Town’s games by playing in the front three.
Burns is yet to score for Town this season but struck the woodwork in their win against Oxford United last weekend.
Barton said: “We just need Wes Burns to get his first goal of the season.
“He is man of the match from the sponsors and did everything but score.
“He is getting in there now and we need to get that composure and assuredness because he is capable of being as good as anything in this division.
“He is a real X factor for us. Once he starts adding those goals to it I think we will see the full potential of Wes Burns.”
Burns had been stretchered off in last week’s EFL Trophy defeat at Accrington Stanley.
However, despite sustaining a nasty wound from the bottom of his right knee down to his ankle, he was fit enough to play against Oxford.
“He is fortunate,” Barton acknowledged.
“If his leg had been planted he might have ended up missing a significant amount of time.
“It looks like it is cuts and bruises.
“You have all seen the picture in the aftermath of it.
“We have had to police him on it, he did not train fully on Thursday or Friday.
“He had ice on it and everything and that is testament to him, the medical team, the doc, Liam and everyone behind the scenes; they get him fit to take the game.
“He strapped his shin up, had a bit of protection but you would not have known, certainly the way he grew into the game.
“Second half, he probably should have had a couple of goals.”