Joey Barton wants leadership to be present throughout his Fleetwood Town squad.
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Town will be without Paul Coutts for tonight’s game against Coventry City at St Andrew’s.
The midfielder has been given the responsibility of captaining the side this season but has accumulated five bookings in his 12 League One appearances.
The summer signing from Sheffield United came in with plenty of pedigree and slotted straight into Town’s side.
Without their regular skipper, Barton will expect other players to step up, but generally, he wants to see more leadership from individuals in his squad – irrespective of their age or experience.
Barton said of Coutts: “He’s been brilliant for us.
“Taking on now the mantle of being a captain of the team, he’s done everything we thought he would do coming in.
“He’s been a real asset for us on and off the pitch, he’s someone that has quickly become a valued member of our squad and our team.
“We want leadership to flow throughout. That isn’t something that just falls on senior players, that is something that we want to encourage right throughout the system.
“Everybody has a voice, albeit not everyone tends to use it all the time; certainly some of the younger players.
“But, on the flip side of that, we do have some younger players who are also very good communicators as well.
“Jimmy Dunne is one of the younger members of our group but will express his opinion and will tell some of the seniors what he wants and how he wants things done.
“I always think good players know what they want and how they want things done.
“ Whether you’re 21 or 41, if you know a better way, or if you know a way that you can encourage your team-mates, I think you should offer that regardless of your age.”
The Town head coach also showed his appreciation for the club’s medical staff given he has his entire first team squad to choose from.
“Everyone is good to go,” Barton revealed.
“Conor McAleny is back in the squad, Ash Eastham back in the squad.
“I think there’s only young Michael Fowler who’s picked up a bit of a knock in the U23s game. But apart from that, everyone is fit and well.
“Full credit to the medical team and the strength and conditioning coaches for giving us a full complement of players to choose from.”