Fleetwood Town FC: Joey Barton relishing ‘David vs Goliath’ clash with Ipswich

Fleetwood Town manager, Joey Barton, says Saturday’s game with Ipswich Town is like ‘David vs Goliath’.

The Cod Army sit third in the league going into the showdown with table-topping Ipswich Town, who were relegated from the Championship last season after a 17-year stay in the division.

Fleetwood ran out 3-0 winners at Shrewsbury last week, and Ipswich comfortably brushed Tranmere Rovers aside, 4-1.

Town boss Barton was quick to recognise the stature of the visitors.

He said: “In many, many ways, it’s like David against Goliath. I probably think David was a little bit smaller than us. We’ve got to be cute, we’ve got to be efficient, we’ve got to get everything we can out of our club and our culture.

“We’ve made an ok start, and we believe that if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we keep going and being humble, and learning, we’ll get where we need to be.”

The Lancastrian high-flyers are the second highest scorers in the league, with 20 goals. Paddy Madden has bagged six of those.

Meanwhile, the Tractor Boys have conceded just five goals this season. The Suffolk-side have earned 24 points so far this season, over half of which have come on the road.

Barton, 37, is looking forward to the test that Paul Lambert’s side will possess.

He continued: “We’ll be a huge examination for them, but also, I think for us, it’s a big examination to see how far we’ve come. We don’t fear anyone – our group will never fear anyone.”

The reds have made their home turf a bit of a fortress in the early stages of the campaign – Barton’s men have gained 13 out of a possible 15 points this season on their own patch.

The former Newcastle United and Manchester City midfielder is pleased by his side’s form at Highbury.

He said: “Your home form is always something you want to build on. Since February last year, we haven’t had a blemish on our home record.  The lads have had to work really, really hard to protect that. We’ve played some good sides.”

A good crowd is expected for the table-topping clash, with the full complement of more than 1000 Tractor Boys making the hike north.