Fleetwood boss Barton was always confident of win over MK Dons
Fleetwood boss Joey Barton never had any doubts that his side would win after they edged to a 1-0 success against MK Dons.
The Trawlermen sealed victory late on as Ched Evans scored from close range after goalkeeper Lee Nichols spilled a cross.
Barton said: ‘I spoke to the lads before the game about the way we thought Paul (Tisdale) would play it.
‘We thought they would employ a 5-4-1 formation and it did prove difficult to break down.
‘I must give enormous credit to Paul and his players because there has been a few doubts about them and their results profile, but they defended their goal absolutely manfully today.
‘Barring an unfortunate error from the keeper, they may have got out of here with a point.
‘On the flip side of that, in terms of territorial advantage, we pretty much played in and around their box for almost the whole of the game.
‘Eventually our offensive prowess got us home, and I’m really pleased because we controlled so many aspects of the game.
‘There was never a thought in our heads that we’d lose the game.
We kept saying ‘we’re going to score, we’re going to win’, and thankfully we did.
‘ The struggling Dons went closest to a breakthrough in the first half when Hiram Boateng headed inches over the top as he rose to meet George Williams’ cross.
Wes Burns fired an effort well wide early on for Fleetwood, while Kyle Dempsey saw a powerful strike blocked.
Fleetwood’s Paddy Madden headed wide from Burns’ cross, while just before the interval Josh Morris saw an effort ruled out following Madden’s push on Dons’ ‘keeper Lee Nichols.
Dempsey also volleyed just over for the dominant hosts, before Evans’ late winner.
Dons boss Paul Tisdale refused to blame his keeper Lee Nichols, as he spilled Lewie Coyle’s cross before Evans tapped home.
‘I just wasn’t expecting that so late in the game,’ Tisdale said.
‘We did set up to get something out of the game and up until five minutes from time I thought we’d managed the game really well.
‘You can’t legislate for what happened with Lee at the end there, but overall it’s a really tough one to take.
‘We had to commit to a particular way to play here.
‘We looked at it before the game and knew that Fleetwood are a really good side here.
‘All the players had bought into the plan, and to be honest I thought we were pretty comfortable for almost an hour-and-a-half.
‘I feel sick to the stomach right now, but I can’t be too critical of the lads and the effort they’re putting in.
‘They put in a really big shift in, but it’s not been enough.
‘We’ve lost the game, and now we have to re-group and go again.’