Joey Barton impressed by new QPR manager Mark Hughes

 

Joey Barton has broken his silence on Mark Hughes' appointment as QPR manager, urging his team-mates to "buy into" the new regime at Loftus Road.

Rangers captain Barton has been uncharacteristically quiet since Neil Warnock's sacking on Sunday night, having announced he was taking a break from his prolific and sometimes controversial use of Twitter.

Hughes revealed at his unveiling on Wednesday that he would hold talks with Barton within 24 hours, having already confirmed the 29-year-old would remain his skipper.

And Barton has been impressed by what he has seen so far from Hughes and the rest of the new management team.

The midfielder told his club's official website, www.qpr.co.uk: "He is a really good man, quite straightforward and expects certain things of his players. If you deliver them then you tend to do well under him.

"It is still early days but football is such an incestuous game that you always know someone who has worked with a manager before and word gets around pretty quickly.

"From what I'm hearing, he and his staff are really organised, they have good intensity in training and, as a manager, I think he is really fair.

"If you are working hard and playing well then you'll stay in the team. As a player, you can't ask for any more than that.

"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.

"I am really looking forward to it. It is always sad to lose a manager but that is the kind of industry we are in.

"I am sure Neil Warnock will not be long in finding new employment.

"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."

For Rangers, it is all about staying there, with only one point separating them from the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

Barton added: "We have got to look forward now as a unit and concentrate on maintaining our status in the Premier League. It is not going to be easy.

"There are going to be a lot of battles ahead.

"This is going to be a testing two-month period for us now because we are playing a lot of teams in and around us in the league."

That period begins after Sunday's trip to Barton's former club Newcastle, for which the midfielder is suspended.

Barton, who was sold after falling out with owner Mike Ashley, said: "It is bitterly disappointing because, on a personal level, it would have been great. But I am only 29 years of age so there is ample opportunity to go back there and play.

"I will be supporting the lads as much as I can do."

Barton's ban ends after Tuesday's FA Cup replay against MK Dons, after which he will regain the captaincy.

"I am really honoured to be captain and to lead this bunch of men," he said.

"But, and I don't mean this to sound blase, it wouldn't alter the way I play if I had the armband or not. I play to win."

Hughes had been hoping to make his first signing as QPR boss in time for Sunday's game but he missed this afternoon's midday deadline.

The new Rangers boss had suggested it might be easier than usual to recruit players in the January transfer window but the club have already seen bids rejected for Andy Johnson, Christopher Samba, Alex and now Steven Pienaar.

PA

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