Barton backs old manager to get another crack at reaching the 'promised land'


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The Independent Football

Joey Barton, the Queen's Park Rangers captain, expects Neil Warnock to be offered an opportunity to return to football sooner rather than later, thanks to his track record of winning promotion.

Warnock was sacked last Sunday, nine months after getting QPR into the Premier League, with Barton suggesting Championship clubs will be eager to employ a manager who also reached the top flight with Sheffield United.

"I am sure Neil Warnock will not be long in finding new employment," said Barton. "He has got such a good record, and I am sure there will be a number of clubs looking to harness that and do what QPR did and get into the promised land." Barton, who was signed and given the armband by Warnock, has retained the captaincy under QPR's new manager, Mark Hughes, and has backed Warnock's successor.

He added: "I am really buoyed by what I have seen in the first couple of days and I hope we can harness that, all buy into it and move this football club to where we feel it should be."

Hughes has been assured his job is safe, even if Rangers are relegated from the Premier League this season. Philip Beard, chief executive, said: "The aim is that Mark is here for a very long time and sees through the objectives and the aims."

There has been no progress on QPR's attempt to sign Chelsea defender Alex, but it is reported they are close to bringing in Sao Paulo striker Henrique, 20, on an 18-month loan.