Joey Barton reveals Ched Evans and Harvey Saunders on the mend after Hull clash
Manager Joey Barton is cautiously optimistic about the well-being of Ched Evans and Harvey Saunders after the Fleetwood duo were stretchered off in the 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Hull
Both players left the pitch in neck braces following nasty-looking injuries in the first half.
Barton said: “Thankfully Harvey’s up and about and walking around – although he doesn’t know what’s happened.
“I haven’t seen Ched yet but he’s talking and stuff like that.
“They’re getting their necks X-rayed and we need to find out a bit more detail.
“But the early signs are that they’re OK, and hopefully that continues into the night after they’ve been checked more thoroughly.”
Evans collided with Hull defender Callum Elder after just three minutes, while Saunders clashed with goalkeeper George Long seconds before half-time.
Barton said: “Hopefully they’re both OK because you never want to see players out cold on a football pitch.
“The result almost becomes secondary when it comes to players’ welfare.”
Fleetwood struggled for rhythm amid the injuries and fell behind after 31 minutes when Josh Magennis volleyed home Mallik Wilks’ flick-on.
Hull always had the edge from then on and confirmed their passage through to the next round when Reece Burke headed in from close range after 63 minutes.
Barton said: “It was just a strange game, a bizarre and weird game.
“You need a bit of luck when you come here, but there are still positive things to take from the game – we’re in a good spot and we know where we are.
“We’re looking forward to coming back here in the league when it will be a different Fleetwood Town side.
“I think we’ve learned an awful lot. We’re disappointed to exit the Cup as it’s a magical competition. But if there is a year to go out early, it’s this one.”
Hull head coach Grant McCann was delighted, but remains convinced his players still have more to offer.
He said: “I thought we were very competitive from the very first minute to the last minute.
“I don’t think George (Long) had a save to make the whole game.
“The whole team performance was great. We were in total control of everything we were doing and they didn’t have any answers.
“The players delivered the gameplan, which was great. The stuck to the task and did exactly what was expected of them.
“They delivered a very good result, but I still feel there’s more to come.”
McCann added: “I think the FA Cup’s a great competition, though I’d like round two to be a wee bit kinder to us in terms of the draw.
“We’re hoping for another home round and then to make it through to round three when the big boys come in to the competition.”
McCann confirmed the FA is “investigating allegations from both clubs” when his side lost 4-1 at Fleetwood in October, but refused to make any further comment.