League One Latest: Joey Barton delighted as Fleetwood Town fend off Sunderland interest in Ched Evans

Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has praised both Andy Piley and chief executive Steve Curwood for retaining Ched Evans’ services amid to interest from Sunderland.

By Jordan Cronin
Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 8:27 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:34 pm
Ched Evans celebrates after scoring against AFC Wimbledon. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)
Ched Evans celebrates after scoring against AFC Wimbledon. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

“A lot of credit goes to Andy Pilley and Steve Curwood [chief executive],” insisted Barton.

“The experience and knowledge of the chief executive and the chairman were paramount in us keeping hold of Ched Evans.

“When Sunderland were in for Ched, our hands were tied because he is not our player.

“You can understand the parent club wanting to sell the player; as difficult as that was, we were powerless over it.”

Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has refused rule out dipping into the free agent market after Jack Whatmough’s knee injury – although admitted it’d be unlikely.

The Pompey defender underwent a MRI scan on Monday, where he and the club are expected to receive the results today.

“If I feel there’s an exception to that and someone phones me up and I think so then yes, but generally not playing and getting up to speed is tough,” said Jackett.

“I wouldn’t rule it out because there can be one but that is generally the exception to the rule.

“I would think that we have to concentrate with the group we have and have enough players to overcome injuries.”

Blackpool youngster Rowan Roache, 18, has left the club on a youth loan – teaming up with Derby County U23s for the rest of the season.

The forward struggled with a metatarsal problem during the summer before going on to enjoy loan spells at National League North duo FC United of Manchester and Southport.

Roache, who made four appearances for the Seasiders last season, was last involved with the first-team squad in a 3-2 victory over Accrington Stanley.