Opposition view: Barton admits 'superb' Cobblers deserved to beat his Fleetwood team

Joey BartonJoey Barton
Joey Barton
Cod Army boss accepts his side didn't do enough with all their possession

A magnanimous Joey Barton was full of praise for Cobblers' 'superb' defensive rearguard as he conceded his Fleetwood Town side deserved little from the game following their 1-0 defeat at the PTS on Tuesday night.

The visitors enjoyed over 70 per cent of the ball and took a total of 14 shots during Tuesday's League One encounter, however Town goalkeeper Steve Arnold was only called into strenuous action on one occasion and that was to keep out Ched Evans' first-half free-kick.

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With Fleetwood toothless in attack, all it took was a thumping header from former Cod Army defender Cian Bolger to hand the Cobblers three important points, inflicting only a second defeat in eight league games on Barton's play-off chasing team.

"You have to give credit to Keith Curle and Northampton because they were well-organised and well-drilled," admitted Barton.

"You know they're not going to play an expansive style of football but they play to their strengths and they defended resolutely. Curly was an international defender for England so you expect them to be solid and hard to break down.

"I thought they were superb. We kept probing and we kept pushing right until the very end of the game but they kept coming up with the answers defensively so credit to them, they deserved the three points.

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"We were caught a bit cold with the goal. Set-pieces are a massive part of their threat. We had a little bit of a warning with the one just before but from the resulting corner Cian pops up and scores the goal.

"All credit too to Cian. He used to play for us, he's come here, he's scored a very good goal and he must be very happy. He was outstanding at the back for them all match.

"That then gave them something to hold onto and we kept trying but couldn't find a way through. We won't have many nights like that where our attack struggles because usually we find our way in, but that's League One football and that's why you pay big money for goalscorers.

"I can't complain because the lads played well and did everything right except score. We just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. Northampton have just come up into this division, they are acquitting themselves superbly and that goal and win tonight could help to keep them up."

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