Joey Barton says next month’s transfer window will be “key” for Fleetwood Town as he seeks to sign and offload players.
READ MORE: Barton praises Clarke but admits Eastham was unlucky
The head coach wants more options in his bid to continue competing in two cup competitions as well as League One, while also looking to move players on who are not featuring in his side.
And Barton believes an “exciting” second half of the season could be in prospect if the Highbury club gets its January business right.
Barton said: “We need to recruit and we need to lose a few players. We want to freshen up the squad and bring in players who maybe do believe they have a future here and do believe they can impact games.
“It must be hard for lads when they don’t get selected. As a player I never really experienced that but you want to play football.
“January is going to be a key window for us this time round because we have to shuffle the deck correctly, and if we do it could be an exciting second half of the season.
“But the key for me is that we have this group that is within touching distance of exciting things.
“We are still in cups. At this point last year we were sitting in the middle of the table, out of the FA Cup and EFL Trophy.
“This year we are going on three fronts, which means there are a load more games and we will need reinforcements to deal with that.
“Whether that comes from the academy I’m not sure at this moment in time, or whether that comes from players who are not in the team.
“But that’s all I want as a manager: for my team to compete, which they do virtually every Saturday. They have the odd off-day but most of the time they are up and at it.
“Also I want competition for places in our squad and we are starting to get that.
“That’s why the group has changed and has moved forward but not as fast as I’d like.
“You’d like to win every week but you have to earn that right and you need time to build that winning mindset.”
n The auction of Fleetwood Town’s ‘Poppy shirts’ has raised more than £1,700 for the Royal British Legion.
The special Remembrance shirts, worn in last month’s games against Bolton and Barnet, were then signed by the players and auctioned online last week.