JOEY Barton has taken a swipe at Wanderers and their manager Phil Parkinson for trying to sign striker Ched Evans in an “incorrect fashion” on deadline day.

The outspoken Fleetwood Town boss defended his club’s choice to refuse permission for Evans to cut short his loan from Sheffield United to facilitate a move to the Championship with Bolton.

The League One club say they did not get the requisite 24-hour notice to end his loan in the January window and so they were within their rights to hold on to the 30-year-old, who went on to score their winning goal against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

Evans had been due to sign permanently for Sunderland until they switched targets to Wigan’s Will Grigg, at which stage Wanderers were alerted to his availability by the Blades, who also gave them permission to talk to their player.

Barton says to replace their top scorer at such a late stage in the window would have been beyond their budget and criticised Bolton’s conduct in the deal.

"We have not made a mistake here, it is the other clubs,” said the Fleetwood manager. "To do Bolton and Ched a favour, Andy (Pilley, Fleetwood’s chairman) would have cost himself the better part of £400,000 to £500,000.

"As a football club we cannot afford to do that. You might be able to if you are in the Championship or Premier League but we cannot do it at Fleetwood.

"Especially not to help Bolton out.

"They would not help us out - clearly. They made the move they made not to help us out.

"The disappointing thing for me is Phil Parkinson did not have anything about him.

"When I see him I will tell him about picking the phone up and being a man about it.

"They tried to do it in the incorrect fashion and that is why they do not have a striker and that is why they will probably get relegated from the Championship.

"When you conduct yourself in the manner that they do, nobody will have any sympathy for them."

Wanderers tried for at least three strikers in the days leading up to deadline day – including Leon Clarke at Wigan and Rudy Gestede at Aston Villa.

By early evening on Thursday Wanderers were confident about their chances of the Evans deal going ahead, and were waiting for Fleetwood’s signature on the release form.

It is understood the player and his representatives were waiting at the Bolton Whites Hotel for the move to go ahead but Barton praised his own club’s hierarchy for standing firm under pressure.

"When Sunderland were in for Ched, our hands were tied because he is not our player,” he said. "You can understand the parent club wanting to sell the player; as difficult as that was, we were powerless over it.

"The aftermath - once that passed and Sunderland fell out of the race or decided not to go for him at 11pm that evening - is there was no recall option.

"It had gone, they had exhausted that. If anyone is at fault for it going wrong then it is not us.

"We did everything correctly as a football club and even then, at 6pm on deadline day, there was an attempt to get the player out.

"We spoke to the EFL, they confirmed Fleetwood were in the right legally as well as contractually and thus, the madness descended.

"We attempted to get players in at late notice, even though everybody we had spoken about replacing Ched with the night before had signed for somebody or gone off the board.

"We get to Thursday and we did not want to keep a player that would be unhappy.

"So we said to Ched ‘if we find a suitable replacement we will allow you to go.’ "We tried to sign three different players. "We were quoted a ridiculous amount of money for transfer fee and wages because they knew we were not in the best position.

"We spoke as a team and said ‘we are not prepared to pay over the odds.’ "We have an exceptional chairman and an exceptional chief executive, who have got a real strength and desire for Fleetwood to get better and a desire for us not to be pushed around and bullied by clubs that historically are bigger than us.”