QPR’s Barton speaks out on past mistakes

Midfielder says Rangers were played as a team of individuals last season

Joey Barton believes that QPR played as a team of individuals last season – but says their new-found team spirit is the key to their promotion challenge this time around.

Barton scored Rangers’ equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Reading on Saturday, keeping Harry Redknapp’s side third in the Championship behind Burnley and Leicester City.

The QPR midfielder dedicated his goal to team-mate Alejandro Faurlin, who was ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, and says that, in contrast to recent years, spirit in the camp is sky-high.

“It’s a squad effort,” he said. “This club has probably been guilty before of relying on certain individuals. But it is a real team effort and I think you can see that in the performances.

“There is a long way to go, but it’s a decent start, and we feel that we have yet to fire on all cylinders. But we have been solid and that’s important if you want to do well in this league.”

Barton said his celebration was decided by the Rangers squad ahead of the game, as a show of support for Faurlin, who suffered his second serious knee injury in less than two years.

“We are all gutted for Ale. He’s a great guy and a great player,” said Barton. “He had just got himself back into the team and was playing really well.

“He was magnificent against Wigan and fantastic against Derby until he got injured. He’s a strong character and there’s no doubt that Ale will be back. It was just to let him know that we are all thinking of him.”

image: © michael kjaer

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