Joey Barton explains why this QPR side is better than class of 2012/13

Joey Barton believes important lessons were learned during Queens Park Rangers' last Premier League campaign, with the same mistakes avoided.

Queens Park Rangers were relegated from the Premier League in 2012/13 as a squad divided and undermined by highly-paid recruits who failed to deliver.

Harry Redknapp was the man charged with the task of turning things around, and he bounced the club back into the big time at the first time of asking.

The going has been tough among the elite, with QPR in danger of becoming a yo-yo club.

There is, however, a feeling within the Loftus Road ranks that things will be better this time around.

Joey Barton jumped ship for Marseille two seasons ago, preferring to take in a loan spell in France than become embroiled in goings on in west London, but he is now a fully committed member of the squad and believes learning from painful top-flight lessons of the past will stand QPR in good stead.

He told Sky Sports News: “I’ve been on record as saying that I felt this was a much better collective than the previous time in the Premier League, and I do feel that. Not only does comparative analysis of that team’s position to our team’s position show that, but I think the general feeling from the supporters – who are a better judge than anyone to appreciate or depreciate what they see on the football pitch – they have come and supported us in numbers and been very vocal and passionate. That’s been massive for us because I think they believe in the team.

“We have got a lot of belief within the group, even in tough times. Our away form hasn’t been what it can be, but we’ve always had belief and there is a really good togetherness and team spirit.

“I think they have learned from whatever happened the previous time around and I think we’ve invested a lot differently, a lot of young players with potential to improve, players of the right ilk, the right attitude and that’s only added to the group.”

QPR have collected two victories in their last three outings to aid their survival push.

They find themselves in the bottom three at present, but know victory at Everton on Monday would lift their head back above water.

Barton, as a boyhood Toffees fan, will be hoping to play a leading role at Goodison Park, with the midfielder having been restricted to just eight Premier League starts by injury.

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