Joey Barton slams Queens Park Rangers’ Premier League showing

Burnley’s Joey Barton has commented on former club Queens Park Rangers.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton says he knew Queens Park Rangers would be relegated before a Premier League ball had been kicked in an intriguing admission for reporters of the Telegraph.

The 33-year-old looked back on an extremely fortunate play-off final for the Hoops and then claimed his former club’s preparations ahead of the Premier League campaign actually weakened their cause.

“The reality of it is that I knew in the June and July that we ­never had a chance of staying up," Barton said. "We got up but we did so in what was as one-sided a play-off final as you are likely to see.

“We got that little bit of luck and then what had to be done from that was just never done – we probably went backwards over that summer.

“There were teams like Burnley that had maximised everything and still came up short. What gave QPR the right to stay in the league when they hadn’t done what you need to do? They hadn’t earned it, really.”

Barton’s comments stem from his belief that he could still do a job in the top-flight and cited his current club Burnley as savvy for having the nous to pick him up on a free transfer from QPR.

The West London side have struggled in their quest to make an immediate return to the Premier League, and their decision to sell Charlie Austin this month subsequently gives off the impression that they have given up on making the play-offs.

Burnley, in contrast, are really beginning to hit their stride and victory over fellow promotion rivals Derby County on Monday will see them leapfrog the Rams and move into third place.

The planning and understanding from both Burnley and QPR have been somewhat poles apart this season, and regarding Barton, the Clarets can only be praised for taking the gamble on signing him.

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