Fleetwood boss Joey Barton tells of online flak from Portsmouth fans as he reveals reason for cancelling Saturday's game

Joey Barton admitted poor away form was behind the postponement of Saturday’s scheduled meeting with Fleetwood.

Monday, 18th November 2019, 9:00 am
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 6:10 pm
Fleetwood manager Joey Barton and Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Daniel Chesterton

Barton opted to call off the game as a result of international call-ups for a trio of his players - Harry Souttar, Billy Crellin and Dan Mooney.

And the former midfielder explained it was because his side had won one of their past six games he chose to do that - something which saw him face online criticism from Pompey fans.

Barton told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘We’re just rubbish away from home at the minute, it’s dead straightforward.

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‘It’ll be a Tuesday night, so they’ll have less fans in the stadium.’‘I’ve already been tweeted by lots of Portsmouth fans calling me all sorts of things because it’s been called off, which is fantastic because it seems it’s a correct decision if it’s upset the Portsmouth fans.’

Ultimately, however, he felt his side would have benefitted from not playing the game now.

He added: ‘I still think Portsmouth may have called the game off; they still had the option to do it, they had enough call-ups.

‘But we decided, because we didn’t want the fans arranging travel and the financial expense for that, to call it relatively early.

‘We thought of our fans travelling all the way down to Portsmouth or certainly making plans to do that and then we announce that we’re going to postpone the game.

‘So we felt we should do that at the earliest possible point.

‘Normally I would have waited until the last minute because you don’t want to give anyone an advantage.

‘They’re a top-six side, I know they’re not sitting there at the minute but make no bones about it, Pompey are a top-six side.

‘If we’ve got a little bit of weakness around us away from home, like we’ve got, then we need to iron that out before we get there.’