NEW Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton admits he spoke to Burnley boss Sean Dyche before anyone else ahead of taking the job at Highbury.

The 35-year-old is in his first role in the dug-out with the League One club having returned from an 18-month football ban for betting offences.

Barton had two spells at Burnley, helping the Clarets win the Championship title in 2016, and revealed he sounded out Dyche before taking the job with the Cod Army.

"He was the first person I sounded out on whether I should take the job or not," said Barton who made more than 50 appearances for Burnley, scoring four goals.

"I thought he was going to be 'no, you need to work on the coaching staff maybe take a coaching role or an assistant role and then go into it.'

"But his response was the total opposite. His response was 'I think you'll be great at it, go and get it.'

"It took me by surprise because I didn't think that was what he was going to say, I thought he was going to be more cautious.

"He was the first person I spoke to, even before my missus, because that's how highly I value his opinion."

Barton and Dyche formed a close rapport during the midfielder's two spells at Turf Moor, which were interspersed with a six-month stint at Scottish side Rangers.

And the former Manchester City and Newcastle United man said he will contact his former boss for advice.

Of Dyche, he added: "For me he was manager of the year last year and is someone I still speak to on a regular basis and have a phenomenal amount of respect for.

"Having seen close hand how they operate, I had two great spells there intertwined with Rangers where it was how not to do it at a football club, so that (Burnley) is fresh in the memory.

"When you have great mentors like that, which I consider the gaffer at Burnley to be, he is someone I know and who I can pick the phone up at any hour and he will give me advice in a managerial capacity."

Barton's football ban expired on June 1 and prior to being approached by Fleetwood Town chairman Andy Pilley he was keen on a return to Turf Moor as a player - if he could force his way into the Clarets squad.

He said: "My plan before the Fleetwood opportunity came along was to stay fit, go back to Burnley in pre-season and see where it went from there.

"If I wasn't good enough to get back in their side, which on the back of last year would probably have been a reality, then see where it took me from there.

"I have never really played outside the top six in the Championship so to drop further below that at my age would have been really, really difficult for me mentally to deal with that.

"I wanted to go out playing at a high level and now I have been presented with a phenomenal opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do."