Latest: Portsmouth critic Joey Barton blasts ‘under pressure’ Ipswich boss as significant update emerges over Charlton head coach

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Pompey make the trip to Lincoln on Saturday, but there is plenty of gossip around League One ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.

Here are the main headlines from across the third tier.

Barton blasts McKenna

Joey Barton believes Ipswich head coach Kieran McKenna is a man under pressure.

There was an altercation between the pair at full-time of their goalless stalemate on Tuesday, with the Tractor Boys boss revealing the former QPR midfielder apologised for his style of play.

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That is something Barton quickly denied and has instead fired shots at the ex-Manchester United coach.

He told Bristol Live: ‘I just went to him at the end of the game and said ‘Sorry we couldn’t take you on’. That’s what it meant, I wasn’t apologising for the way we played.

‘I thought we were excellent in our strategy and really got the best opportunity to win the game by going the way we did.

Joey Barton blasts under pressure Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna.Joey Barton blasts under pressure Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna.
Joey Barton blasts under pressure Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna.

‘We were far from parking the bus. It was a mid-to-deep block with some triggers we felt we could catch them on and expose them higher up the field.

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‘To be fair to Kieran, he’s probably worried about four wins in 15 with a £15m budget in League One and Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth pulling away and Derby, Wycombe, Barnsley, Bolton and the group chasing closing in on them.

‘He’s a man under pressure. I could smell that on them and I knew that before with the results profile. It was part of the reason we went with the strategy because they were nervy and on a run of drawing a lot of games and finding it hard to break teams down.

‘We had to make a plan for that and I apologised for sitting to counter. I don’t want to be a counter-puncher, I want to be in the middle of the ring trading blows with you, but I guarantee you if the boot was on the other foot, he wouldn’t be attacking me with a £3m budget if I had a £15m budget, that’s for sure, and he wouldn’t be drawing 0-0.’

Addicks extension

Charlton boss Dean Holden has confirmed he will be holding talks to remain with the Addicks.

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The head coach arrived at The Valley in December and has overseen five wins in nine League One games, one of which came against Pompey on New Year’s Day.

The former Bristol City and Stoke man’s current deal in South London is set to expire at the end of the season.

But Holden has confirmed he will be having discussions with owner Thomas Sandgaard over an extension.

He told South London Press: ‘I’m sure over the weekend talks will begin. We have not yet started the talks on that.

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‘Thomas has indicated to my representative that he wants to get a deal sorted quickly.

‘That would ideally be done face to face but with him being in Denmark, that’s probably going to happen at the weekend.’

Bold Barnsley beliefs

Barnsley chief Khaled El-Ahmad has insisted captain Mads Andersen is the best defender in League One.

The centre-back had a new deal activated in the summer, which will see him remain at Oakwell until the summer of 2024.

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And after being questioned whether the 25-year-old was happy at the Tykes, the CEO said to The Yorkshire Post: ‘Mads is the perfect example of a top professional, team-mate and captain and in my opinion he is the best defender in the league.

‘He smiles every day, except if we lose!

‘People look at a contract as (if) you will only speak to them when they have a year left or six months. But it is an ongoing discussion both ways.

‘It is how you feel, are you liking this? How is your family? What does the coach think? What do we as a coach think and the value of the player.

‘There are various aspects to this and it is an ongoing discussion with most players.