Greg Docherty admits Hull City’s previous run-ins with Joey Barton this season will stand them in good stead for Saturday’s home date with his new club.
City faced Barton’s Fleetwood twice in the early weeks of the season before the two clubs met again in a Papa John’s Trophy knockout game again shortly after his sudden departure from Highbury.
Barton is now in charge of Bristol Rovers, the third permanent manager of the season at the League One strugglers and will face City for a third time on Saturday, having won one and lost one so far.
The Tigers were 3-1 winners at the Memorial Stadium when the two clubs met in October, and following wins over AFC Wimbledon and Rochdale in the past week, City can make it three league doubles in a row with maximum points which would keep them inside the automatic promotion places.
Why should I sign up?
Want daily news on Hull City delivered straight to your inbox? Our Hull City newsletter is the perfect place to get all your latest Tigers news, brought to you first.
There will be breaking news newsletters, specials from our correspondent Barry Cooper and a newsletter every single weekday with the big stories of the day.
How do you sign up?
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article or any article on the Hull City section of Hull Live, or by clicking here.
And that's it, you're all set. You can unsubscribe at any time and your data will not be shared with any other party.
“Bristol (Rovers) was obviously a tough one for us when we went down there earlier on in the season, we did well in the second half,” said Docherty.
“We ground them out to get a thoroughly deserved three points.
“They’ll maybe have a little bit of a lift under a new manager, we’ve played Fleetwood that many times this year we know what they’ll be about.
“Joey’s style is very aggressive and they’re good at what they do.
“From the clips I’ve seen of then, they are emulating what that Fleetwood team have done in the past.”
There are just 13 games standing between City and a return to the Championship, and Docherty admits the focus from his teammates has to be on churning out results between now and early May, despite all the talk centering on their prospects of automatic promotion after a concerning drop in form last month.
“It’ll be a tough one for us and we’ll need to be on our game, but it’s a game where we know what we need to do and where we need to get to," he said.
“They’ve got some good players, Bristol (Rovers) and they’ll be dangerous, we’re really aware of that.
“Our focus at the final whistle (against Rochdale) was to recover and go again.
“It’s been a hectic schedule, two good wins so far and with 13 games (remaining) we need to keep on pushing, there’s no time for talking, it’s time for doing and we know what we need to do.”