A look at everything Joey Barton said following his appointment at Bristol Rovers

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 23 February 2021, 09:37

Joey Barton has made a swift return to management with Bristol Rovers, where he’s replaced Paul Tisdale.

We’ve taken a look at everything the former Fleetwood Town manager said in what proved to be a energising first interview with the Pirates - scroll down for the club's official video - during which the 38-year-old spoke about why he chose Bristol Rovers, his ambitions, excitement for the task ahead, and the all important Head Coach or Manager title...

Why Bristol Rovers is the right fit

“I remember the atmosphere in the games that we (Fleetwood) played at the Mem. The size of the club and the ambition of everyone involved, it was for me the logical next step on my pathway as a young inspiring coach.”

Ambitions

“Survival is key. You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. 

“When you see what’s gone before and the fact they can get 40,000 for Shrewsbury in the play-off final. There’s not too many teams outside of the top-tier that can do that - that’s the ambition because that means we are either pushing for promotion via a play-off or a cup competition.

“The ability to mobilise an enormous fan base that’s been starved of success over a long period.

First impressions

“We were really surprised and pleased as we thought that there might be a few players who are feeling sorry for themselves because they’ve just come out a defeat at the weekend.

“But as can always happen when there’s a regime change and new people come in with new ideas, the lads were bright, bubbly, attentive, really looking to take on the information and I’m really happy with how much they’ve taken on from one session - I couldn’t thank them any more.”

His coaching staff

“Obviously we’ll integrate with the staff that are here, like we did at Fleetwood. It was only me and Clint (Hill) that went into Fleetwood because it was the first job we ever had. Andy Mangan came after a year, then obviously we had a couple of coaches who were already there when we arrived.

“The same here where we’ve got Kev (Maher) and Jack (Mesure) as well as some other good coaching and analytical staff.

“When I analyse how quickly you can make an impact on a group it always helps to have people with you who know those ideas, can put them into place, and know the standards you set.

“It saves me having to coach other coaches to coach the way I want.”

Head Coach or Manager?

"Am I Head Coach or Manager? I don't even know! Me kids were asking me that yesterday: 'Are you Head Coach or Manager?' As long as the players listen to me it doesn't matter!

“One of the groundstaff asked me earlier: ‘What do we call you, Joe, Joey, Gaffer?’ I said: ‘Call me what you want as long as it’s not a swear word!’”

On his playing career

“You realise when you stop playing how little you know about the game. I was a know-it-all, and I still am in many regards!

“But certainly as a player when it came to my position on the pitch - central midfield - you find your way or working that’s best for your body type and you carry that through your career.

“Then you stop and come into coaching, you have to think about every other position on the pitch. It’s a really humbling experience. When you come on to the coaching side, every day is a learning day. 

Nerves and excitement

“My kids were asking me if I was nervous, and I said: ‘Yeah I am a little bit.’ It’s like going to a new school on the first day, you’re going to meet 50/60 new people, you’re going to a new city, you’re moving away from home, you’re leaving your misses and kids.

“It’s natural that you have that excitement but we want to do a fantastic job for the Rovers fans.”

First game against Wigan

“We played them just before we left Fleetwood and they gave us a good game. 

“They are a side that’s had a lot of disruption to the team, backroom and boardroom.

“In the circumstances they’ve done fantastically well to be competing and they were unlucky against Lincoln on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a tough contest for us, we’ve got to make the stadium a very difficult place to go.”

Message to the fans

“I’m honoured and privileged to be leading the football club at this moment.

“I was really touched by how many reached out to me on social media. Seeing the Rovers fan online - tagging in Wael - I was aware of it and that momentum just grew and grew.

“There’s going to be people that are sceptical and rightly so. All I ask is that they give us the opportunity to showcase what we are about as football people, and put into practice stuff that will make them think about us in a different way.

“Not everybody is going to really enjoy me and my outspoken ways sometimes, but one thing I do deliver is absolutely dedication to the job I do. Results in time will show that this is the right call.

“I’m absolutely certain we can deliver on getting the Rovers fans right behind this club, and proud walking around in the city with their chests puffed out.”

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