Many Bristol Rovers fans have responded positively after the struggling EFL League One club appointed former Rangers player Joey Barton as their new manager [Bristolrovers.co.uk].
The controversial ex-midfielder played for the Gers, Manchester City, Newcastle United and Marseille, amongst others, during his playing career, before entering management in 2018.
He guided Fleetwood Town to eleventh and sixth-place finishes in League One in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons respectively, before being sacked halfway through his third campaign following a poor run of results.
Barton had only been out of the game for around a month and a half before Bristol Rovers announced his appointment on a two-and-a-half-year deal on Monday afternoon.
— Bristol Rovers (@Official_BRFC) February 22, 2021
Former Rangers centre-back Clint Hill worked with Barton at Fleetwood and has followed the 38-year-old to the Memorial Stadium, joining as assistant manager.
“We are delighted to welcome Joey to Bristol Rovers and look forward to working closely with him to progress our football club forward,” said Rovers’ President, Wael Al Qadi [Bristolrovers.co.uk].
“Joey’s experience in the game is matched by his passion for coaching and delivering results, which made him a standout candidate for the role.
“He’s got a good knowledge of the league already thanks to his spell at Fleetwood and has shown his credentials at delivering results and getting the best out of the players he works with.”
Barton is a controversial figure who has been in trouble with the footballing authorities on many occasions in the past, so not all Rovers fans are happy about the appointment.
Many believe he could be just the man to pull the 19th-placed side away from a relgation scrap, though, and are delighted with the move.
Here’s a selection of reactions:
— Matt Burnard (@MattBurnard1979) February 22, 2021
— 𝓡𝔂𝓪𝓷𝓷 𝓜𝓲𝓰𝓷𝓪𝓷𝓸 (@Ryann_BRFC_95) February 22, 2021
Welcome joey.Fantastic appointment, absolutely delighted with this certain we’ll stay up now. Roll on tomorrow #UTG
— alfie rendall (@RendallAlfie) February 22, 2021
Brilliant choice good luck joey a Bristol rovers tyoe of person who can connect to the players and fans which did not happen in the two previous appointments
— Darren Lye (@DarrenLye6) February 22, 2021
Things you love to see
— Martin Cates (@mlcates4) February 22, 2021
Great appointment from a footballing perspective imo, surprised it’s another 2 and a half year deal though.
— Daniel Sheppard (@DanielShepps) February 22, 2021
— 🏴 (@gashead03) February 22, 2021
Let’s have it then, we need more steel in our team, who’s better for that💪
— JM Mayhem (@JAMurph18) February 22, 2021
— Liam (@liambull2002) February 22, 2021
Great to see the club taking a risk? Really positive move! At least they’ll have some “fighting” spirit
— Tim Powell (@TimTimpowel007) February 22, 2021
— HarleyHatcher (@HarleyHatcher3) February 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Rangers fans have highlighted a major concern ahead of the upcoming second-leg Europa League Round of 32 clash against Royal Antwerp.