Bar­ton stands in the way of Lions and his­tory

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FOOTBALL - LEON WOBSCHALL

IN foot­ball as in life, per­cep­tions can some­times be mis­lead­ing.

Many in the game may have been quick to de­ride the of­ten out­spo­ken views of Joey Bar­ton over the years, but one of his op­po­site num­bers in the dug-out this evening is cer­tainly not one of them.

Guise­ley co-man­agers Mar­cus Big­not and Russ O’Neill pit their wits against Fleet­wood chief Bar­ton (8pm) as FA Cup fever de­scends upon Nether­moor as the Lions aim to make it through to third-round week­end for the first time.

Stand­ing in their way is Bar­ton, who has shown prom­ise dur­ing his de­but sea­son in man­age­ment and Big­not has been im­pressed – if not nec­es­sar­ily sur­prised – by how such a colour­ful and con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure has proved so adept and looked a ‘nat­u­ral.’

Not that he will be want­ing to wit­ness that acu­men this evening in front of the TV cam­eras on Guise­ley’s big night.

On the Bar­ton fac­tor, Big­not said: “I played at QPR when Clint Hill, who is Joey’s as­sis­tant, was there. I fin­ished my diploma in foot­ball man­age­ment with Clint over the sum­mer and know Clint re­ally well.

“I have a lot of re­spect for what Joey has done in the game and have watched his man­age­rial stint with in­ter­est be­cause I do think he is one of those who is a stu­dent of the game and is in­tel­li­gent be­hind the char­ac­ter that peo­ple try to por­tray.

“There is a per­son in there who is driven and one who I be­lieve will do well in the game.

“Fleet­wood are a good team and it will be a dif­fi­cult chal­lenge from a league and stan­dard above what we played in the last round (Cam­bridge United).

“We know we will have to be at our very best and de­liver tech­ni­cally and tac­ti­cally and be right on it men­tally too.”

It re­mains to be seen if Guise­ley make it through in their own right to the last 64 in early Jan­uary, but they have at least been af­forded a place in the hat, with the draw be­ing staged on BBC1 at 7.30pm, half-an-hour be­fore kick­off.

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