Joey Barton delivers verdict on win over Crawley Town and emerging ‘culture’ at Bristol Rovers
Joey Barton sees a “good culture” emerging at Bristol Rovers after the Gas won their second Ligue 2 victory of the season against Crawley Town.
Newbie Leon Clarke was a halftime substitute and broke the deadlock at Mem within 90 seconds of coming on.
The 36-year-old, formerly of Sheffield United and Wolves, signed on Tuesday as a free agent and opened his account almost instantly in the blue and white quarters, directing the cross from compatriot Antony Evans in the top corner for the winner.
In the victory, the Gas continued to appear disjointed for periods – as they have since the start of the campaign – and Crawley boss John Yems lamented his team’s lavishness in front of goal, but Barton sees no problem getting results as his revamped squad, with 17 new hires, settle in.
“I can see the team growing,” Barton told reporters full time. “Maybe not as fast as we want it to be, but I can see it growing up and strong characters and a really great culture starting to emerge.
“If we can keep a clean sheet we know we only need one to win a football match and generally the teams that are promoted will have a lot of narrow 1-0 wins, where they don’t. may not have been at their level, better or fired on all cylinders, but somehow they managed to get the job done.
“I had the chance to play for Olympique de Marseille. We finished second that year and we had 22 1-0 wins. With QPR, when we came through the play-offs, I think that we had 18 1-0 wins.
“They are the foundation on which you can build performances. Obviously we all want threes and fours, but we didn’t deserve the right to do that, we don’t trust the building.
“It’s all well and good for me to be confident and say we’re going to get things done, but that has to get into the playgroup.
“There is nervousness in the stadium, and rightly so with the journey they’ve come as a Rovers fan over the past few years. He’s probably aged everyone. It’s definitely put some hair out. gray more in my barnet than I had made when I got here.
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“Winning football matches builds confidence, and my belief is that confidence comes from good preparation, so we are going in the right direction, but we have to support that next week in the league.”
Barton has often emphasized the importance of winning the physical battle in Ligue 2, and after six games – and seven points on the board – the manager feels his players are coming to terms with the challenge ahead.
“In this league we are going to have to work hard and there are 40 more to come,” he said.
“We’re going to have to earn the right to win football games. I think the guys should be well versed now after six games that no one will respect us.
“It’s a much more physical game in League Two than in League One. We have to stand up to be counted and I think the guys did it manly today.”
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