Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has heaped praise on attacker Josh Morris, after the 28-year-old’s instrumental performance in his side’s impressive 3-0 win at Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.
That victory lifted Fleetwood up to third place in the League 1 table, with Barton’s side now on 20 points from their opening ten matches and just two-points behind second placed Wycombe Wanderers, who they have a game in hand over.
Fleetwood’s performance and margin of victory at Shrewsbury was a massive statement of intent that Barton’s side can mount a serious challenge for automatic promotion this campaign, with their opponents protecting an unbeaten home record heading into the game having also enjoyed a strong start to the campaign.
One player who was a vital figure in Fleetwood’s 3-0 victory was Morris, who was playing in a slightly unfamiliar centre forward role against Shrewsbury alongside Ched Evans, but the 28-year-old who is more naturally a winger showed great adaptability to his role upfront and managed to register his fourth goal of the season, with his goal putting his side 2-0 in front and helping them take full control.
Speaking to the Fleetwood Weekly News following Saturday’s win against Shrewsbury Barton expressed his delight with the quality and attitude of Morris, saying: “Josh isn’t a renowned centre-forward.
“He’s got desire and the ability to score goals; sometimes he has to do a couple of different roles because that’s part of playing football.
“We know we can free him up, especially when we have Ched (Evans) up there who gives you that focal point.”
Barton was rightly thrilled with the performance of Morris in Fleetwood’s win at Shrewsbury, with the 28-year-old proving his adaptability, which could prove vital for his side as the season progresses and injuries and suspensions kick in, in being a goal threat playing alongside Evans up front.
Although centre forward is not Morris’ natural position he still has the qualities required to be a threat playing in that position, with his reading of the game allowing him to occupy spaces both in-front of and in-behind opposition defences.
Playing alongside Evans, who offers more of a physical presence, allows Morris to drift around with a bit of freedom to find himself in very dangerous positions, which make him difficult to mark and handle for opposing defences, and the pair could prove a valuable combination as the season progresses.