JOEY Barton's leap into management with Fleetwood Town is no surprise to his former boss Sean Dyche.

The Clarets chief described his former charge as a 'student of the game' after Barton agreed to take over the Cod Army in June.

Barton enjoyed two spells at Turf Moor under Dyche as the two men developed a close working relationship and the Burnley boss has backed the 35-year-old to make a success of management once he takes up the reins at Highbury Stadium when his Football Association ban for gambling offences ends.

"I don't think it's such a surprise to me, he has a thirst to coach and manage," said Dyche.

"He's a strong professional, Joey. He was first-class (at Burnley) and there is a student of the game in him.

"He wants to learn and progress. He's got an opinion for sure, a strong opinion, but he doesn't think he's got every answer and he's willing to listen and take advice."

Dyche was also impressed to see Barton take a chance in the third tier rather than linger in the wings touting himself for more glamorous posts.

"Fleetwood are a very good club but you could argue he could have waited and tried to get in at a higher level," he said.

"But he's accepted the challenge and he's willing to get his hands dirty. I've played in those divisions and it's not easy."