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Barton: Sad to Hear Some of the Noises Circling Around Here
Wednesday, 4th Mar 2020 11:10

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton felt his side’s 1-0 victory over the Blues was one of the biggest wins he’s had in his fledgling managerial career and thought the fractious Portman Road atmosphere was of a type which is “very, very rarely productive”.

Ched Evans netted the game’s only goal five minutes before half-time to send the Cod Army up to sixth in the table, six points ahead of the Blues in ninth.

“I was fortunate enough to play here, I didn’t play here that much, I think two or three times,” said Barton, who watched the game from the stand as he serves a touchline ban (bottom left, below).

“You walk in the stadium and you see Sir Alf Ramsey’s got a stand here and only last night I was watching the Bobby Robson documentary, and obviously the stand at the other end is named after Sir Bobby.

“It’s very, very rare you see that at an English football ground, a World Cup-winning manager and a World Cup semi-finalist.

“For me, in my young managerial career, it’s nice to have a team capable of coming to places like Sunderland last time out, places like Portman Road and being competitive.”

Regarding his team’s display before the break, he said: “I spoke to the lads after the half and we’re winning 1-0 and managing the tie, but we challenged the players after the Sunderland game to keep the ball more, especially away from home, especially against the good sides.

“We thought we had to be braver and keep more possession, I thought we were excellent at that in the first period.

“In the second half, I think we just got a little away from that. But I think you have to give credit to Ipswich, obviously in front of the home fans and fighting to stay in the play-off picture.

“They did respond and we had to defend our goal correctly in the second period to make sure we got that valuable clean sheet and take the three points back up the road to the Fylde coast.”

Before the teams met at Highbury in October Barton labelled the Town squad “probably as bad as a group of players as Ipswich have had in a long time”, something he now admits was a tactical error, the Blues having won that match 1-0.

“I got asked questions in the build-up to it and me being maybe a little bit naive in my managerial career, I thought it would be interesting to test the boundaries of Ipswich’s psychology,” he recalled.

“Well, on that day it backfired because they beat us 1-0, so I thought I best not try that again because it didn’t work for us last time, and let the players do the talking and not give Paul [Lambert] and his players an extra motivation.

“They already had enough, they had to beat us tonight to go above us and are trying to maintain their own promotion push.

“That was something I had to learn as part of my naivety but it’s been a steep learning curve since the day I took the job.”

After it was suggested the comments he made were spot on, Barton added: “You’re probably best asking everybody else connected with Ipswich, I haven’t seen enough of them this season other than the times we’ve played them.

“You’re always trying to seek a psychological advantage and I’d obviously seen the likes of Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson, masters at it, over the years and I thought I’ll try that but ultimately I ended up with a bit of egg on my face and I think the Ipswich players took it in the right manner because they clearly responded for their manager.

“They left a number of the articles pinned to our away dressing room, so they told me in no uncertain terms about the state of those comments.

“For me, it’s one of those, it’s a game of football. I know those lads are competing as hard as they can and we are, and I think managers and players, you’re always looking for little bits of psychological one-upmanship if you can get them.

“On that occasion I think I tried it and lost, and on this occasion I didn’t try anything and won. Maybe the recipe going forward.”

Quizzed on whether it was the biggest win of his time in charge of Fleetwood, he said: “In terms of the size of club, yes, I suppose, but we beat Sunderland last season, we’ve beaten some big sides as well in terms of the stakes of the division in the last few weeks. Portsmouth, we knocked them over, Peterborough, we beat them, Wycombe were second in the table at the time.

“We’ve gone to some very, very difficult places over the course of the games and I think in League One, you could label any club. I think everybody at this stage, barring one or two teams are fighting for something, whether that’s to stay up or go up.

“We’re at the business end of the season and we knew when the fixtures come out that we’re going to have to come here on a Tuesday night and if this place is rocking and they’re in full flow, it’s going to be a difficult place because you’ve got to remember we’ve got 88 fans here today, we were massively outnumbered.

“But they were superb, they were getting behind the lads and it’s strange for me because all the clubs I’ve played for have had massive fanbases but coming to Fleetwood and seeing how fans get on a coach or get in a car and drive from Fleetwood to Ipswich on a Tuesday night to support the boys, whether it’s 100,000 or one, we must be enormously thankful for that because [citing the quote at the back of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand], without your supporters, no matter how many they are, what is a football club?

“It was sad to hear some of the noises circling around here today because that is very, very rarely productive for successful football.

“They’re a great football club with good traditions and, as I say, Bobby Robson, Sir Alf amongst a plethora of household names they’ve had as managers and it’s for us now to see how far we can push on as a team.

“If you’d have told me going into March we’d be on the run we are and we’d beaten Ipswich here to go into play-off contention I think everybody at Fleetwood Town would have taken that.

“We’re in the shake-up, maybe a little bit of a dark horse, outsiders compared to some of the other sides but we feel we’ve got a really good team and if we keep progressing and the lads keep improving and trying to learn implement all the stuff they do, it doesn’t matter the size of the football club when the teams cross the white line and I think we showed that today.”

Asked whether the fractious Portman Road atmosphere helped his club, he said: “For me I was getting worried I was getting drawn into that little bit of negativity that was clearly in the ether.

“And I thought we were getting drawn into playing at Ipswich’s tempo because when we played at our tempo in the first half I didn’t think they could get near is.

“I just felt we got affected by the lethargy in the game. We actually gave our lads a little bit of a rollocking at half-time about upping the tempo because I felt we should have been gone at half-time, ‘Look, you mightn’t get as good a side play as poor as they did in the first half’.

“You’re expecting Paul to get a response out of his players and, as I said, I think they did, Ched’s headed a couple off the line, Alex Cairns made a couple of saves, that’s for us to be proud of our defence.

“But they haven’t rolled over and died, we haven’t beaten them 5-0 or 6-0 here, they’re fighting, albeit I think Ipswich will be really disappointed at losing a key game to a promotion rival, albeit the fact that we are a promotion rival of theirs will irk a lot of the Ipswich faithful.

“They’ve got a tough game against Coventry on Saturday but we’ve got a tough game against Blackpool, there are no easy games in League One, you just have to keep the focus of one game at a time and I think we’re the testimony to that, and Wycombe are the testimony to that.

“Just keep plugging away, if you keep working hard and you’ve got good players and a good squad, you never know what can happen.”

Photos: Action Images/TWTD

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TimmyH added 11:18 - Mar 4
This had been going on for years Joey not just from last night, you can't make assumptions on one evening...anyway the fans have been very supportive on match days and that has hasn't driven the players on either last season and certainly not the last few months. We deserve better.

So better to keep schtum Mr Barton, who always has something to say right or wrong!

JimInGreensboro added 11:28 - Mar 4
"the fact that we are a promotion rival of theirs will irk a lot of the Ipswich faithful."

Hciwspi added 11:28 - Mar 4
I think he makes a lot of valid points and actually comes across really well.

norfolkbluey added 11:42 - Mar 4

SouperJim added 11:56 - Mar 4
Joey Barton, novice football manager, limited resources even at this level, yet comprehensively outperforming Paul Lambert and Ipswich Town FC.

What a time to be alive.

Evans out.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 12:11 - Mar 4
For once, Barton seems to have something quite sensible to say.

Carberry added 12:18 - Mar 4
No mention of the big teams he's played for and the wonderful advice great managers have given him, funny that. Instead a refreshing analysis from Barton who comes over as smart and considered, while doing a fantastic job with very limited resources. I'm not suggesting we want him here but he's doing himself a lot of good.

OsborneOneNil added 12:19 - Mar 4
Got some passion, hasn't he. Unlike our manager.

monty_radio added 12:20 - Mar 4
He has his own moments, but is undoubtedly a bright guy, and here he shows the sort of intelligent insight that makes his own past troubles the more sad. It's the kind of reflection that many managers would neither choose nor be able to give.

runningout added 12:31 - Mar 4
Joey Barton’s next job will be interesting

midastouch added 12:42 - Mar 4
I've read most the books for players and managers. I tend to buy them on Amazon in Kindle format whenever they get reduced as I do quite a lot of reading when travelling. Barton's book isn't one of the more fun light reads like say a Jimmy Bullard autobiography (now that was fun!) but he does come across as a thoughtful character rather surprisingly. His book is very honest and brutal in places. It's not a real page turner but it does go into deeper and darker corners than most sort of books of that sort. When I read his book I wondered if he might translate to being a decent manager, but obviously he has previous well-documented anger issues that could be his undoing. It wasn't that long ago he knocked another manager's teeth out I recall!

midastouch added 12:49 - Mar 4
If he could control the temper then I think he could do very well as a manager but put him in a really heated high-pressure situation on a bigger stage then you wonder whether he might at some stage crack! Remember Di Canio at Sunderland for example. Di Canio did well at Swindon (but you could tell even then that he could be a loose canon) but when he got his chance at a bigger club after an encouraging start we saw it unravel.
If Barton were to seek professional help for his anger issues (he may of already since his last incident, I don't know) I think he might have a bright future in the game as a manager but there will always be underlying question marks given his previous. Maybe he might mellow with age but I do get the feeling he's not one to back down and risk losing face when it comes to direct confrontation and as such that makes him a real target for others to try and push his buttons (that is if they don't mind risking losing some of their front teeth)! :-)

JewellintheTown added 13:21 - Mar 4
What a sad day. Not that we poorly lost to a "minnow" side we needed to win to scrape any chance of promotion, but more the fact many think Fleetwoods Joey Barton of all people is doing a better job and more likeable by our fans than our own Manager.

VanDusen added 14:05 - Mar 4
For all those calling for Evans to go - and I have some sympathy - I suggest this sobering read about Bury's decline:

Who would say this might not be us if he walks away? I genuinely don't know what we should do and it saddens me as much as anyone to see us withering on the vine. But I do think the club has genuinely been trying to bring its spending in line with its means over recent years - it's just we're competing with many who haven't . I do worry that until the football debt bubble bursts we may just have to take it (and it feels like it's come a lot closer finally this season - Bury & Bolton, Man City's situation, Derby & Sheffield Wednesday - and Aston Villa with more ridiculous debt news only today). Or we may end up without a club...

KernewekBlue added 15:43 - Mar 4
I care very little what that dolt Barton has to say but I care deeply that they came to our home and rolled us over.

It's a cruel indictment of just how fragile we are and how far we've fallen, getting our rear-end spanked by a thug and lowly little Fleetwood Town... how embarrasing... how bloody embarrasing!

Where do we go from here?

Dear God, Coventry to come on Saturday fills me with dread!

blueboy1981 added 17:14 - Mar 4
Joey you’re not everyone’s cup of tea, neither am I, but who cares ? - competition is all about WINNING, and you’re a WINNER. A winner was never born to come 2nd, therefore you’d do for me any day.
Keep up the good work at Fleetwood, and you’ll soon climb that managerial ladder. May just have to temper the temper a bit though - but stay a WINNER, and never accept less.

blueboy1981 added 17:20 - Mar 4
VanDusen ..... good post. People calling for Evans head may live to regret such action, and may not have to wait long ..... !!!
Some will never understand logic and rationale as long as they live.

blueboy1981 added 17:33 - Mar 4
..... however - the ball is now in Evans court, he HAS to do something - even if it is a Club Statement that we would prefer not to hear i.e continuing to back Lambert, instead of biting the bullet and doing what 95% of us would agree with.

positivity added 18:13 - Mar 4
sounds like a pitch for the job...

Bluearmy_81 added 18:17 - Mar 4
Vandusen. Absolute rot. Never come across such cautious scared fans in all my life as those like you. In no way can we become a Bury (unless it's changing nothing.) He has to sell. 'Walking' (which isn't going to happen) would lead to a 'free' Ipswich Town. There would be plenty of suitors at such a cut price.

Terry_Nutkins added 18:27 - Mar 4
Barton is an intelligent football man. He will never control in the inner anger in him though as we've seen time and time again. Think it will curtail his career in management to a degree and just couldnt have a man like that here.

Saxonblue74 added 18:37 - Mar 4
Don't care for Barton one iota, but can't disagree with a word he says here.

MidKentTractor added 19:12 - Mar 4
If Evans walks then things could get worse as hard as that is to believe. But if he stays and changes nothing then gates will fall and the club could go out of business if nobody comes anymore. If clubs like Fleetwood and Wycombe can challenge for promotion on what I imagine is tiny budgets we should be able to roll them over with our resources but that's not happening. Why? Well I don't buy PL's hard luck story. Yes, we've lost players and at crucial times but do you think all our rivals are having no bad luck at all? I suggest it's his inability to manage and some of the players inability to do the job on the pitch. A good manager might change the latter, so trying to find a good manager is the first priority and if he finds he can't improve the players we have then he has to be supported by Evans to bring the players he wants in (that the club can afford). We're all realistic, we know the club can't afford to best players, but that's doesn't mean we have to put up with the current embarrassing batch.

Zondervantheman added 19:22 - Mar 4
I’d have him tomorrow!!!
Strap some boots on him first though as he could still do a job at this level..

Saxonblue74 added 07:08 - Mar 5
Bluearmy81, charming toward fellow fans as ever! ITFC free if Evan's walked??? What if he walks and calls in his debt? What about the millions of losses every year that need to be covered? I feel the need to defend myself every time I make such a comment by stating I am not an Evan's fan, simply a realist.

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