Joey Barton: I'll grow up to help QPR consolidate in Premier League

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has stated his intentions to grow up to help keep the club in the Premier League next season.

The R's were promoted last week after they beat Derby County 1-0 in the playoff final at Wembley thanks to Bobby Zamora's late winner.

QPR return to England's top division at the first time of asking following their relegation in the 2012-2013 season, but Barton hasn't featured since the final day of the previous campaign.

The 31-year-old was in the team that was beaten by Sergio Aguero's now iconic winner to seal the Premier League title, but the midfielder left the pitch in shame after becoming embroiled in an ugly bust-up with several Citizens players.

The controversial Barton was subsequently banned for 12 games for the outburst, but has now claimed that he has added a maturity to his character that will only help the West London side in their attempts next season.

He told Sky Sports News: “If you offered me 17th place now, I’d take it. Over the next few months I’ll be re-evaluating my goals and targets from a personal point of view. You have to do some evaluating and growing up and you’re constantly trying to improve as a player.

"You've got to be really respectful about going into the best league in world football [because] you’re going to be playing against the best players in the world. The reality of it is, regardless of who it is, is to consolidate and make sure we stay in the league, and then build the club from there.

“I still think I’ve got a lot of personal goals that I want to achieve as a player and I think hopefully my best years are ahead of me. Me and Harry [Redknapp] have struck up a friendship and a professional relationship during the course of the season, and I’m looking on improving that. The stronger we get as a group of men, the stronger we get as a team."

The R's hefty wage bill meant promotion was vitally important to the club, but Loic Remy is likely to leave the club this summer, despite their return to England's top division.

The France international spent last season on loan at Newcastle and impressed by scoring 14 goals for the Magpies.

However, the North East side are unlikely to hold onto Remy, with Liverpool and Arsenal reportedly showing an interest.

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