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Warnock backs new skipper Barton
Published : 13 Sep 2011 08:30:43
Neil Warnock admits there will be times when he and Joey Barton are at loggerheads, but the QPR manager is sure he has made the right decision in appointing the controversial star as his new captain.
Barton, who arrived on a free transfer from Newcastle this summer, was one of six new signings to make their Hoops debut in Monday night's 0-0 draw at home to Barton's previous employers. His place in the starting XI was always certain, but Warnock's decision to give him the armband previously worn by Adel Taarabt came as a surprise.
Explaining his decision to appoint Barton as skipper, Warnock said: "It was just a logical thing really. We need somebody as our leader. He (Barton) epitomised what we are about. It was difficult for him and I thought he handled himself well. We will have our moments where things won't go so well, but you have to have that in any healthy relationship."
Barton has always been a colourful and controversial figure during his time in the game.
He was jailed in 2008 for assault and most recently caused ire amongst the Newcastle hierarchy by hitting out at the club's transfer policy on Twitter.
The 29-year-old claims to be a reformed character and Warnock is confident that he and his new captain will develop a relationship to help new owner Tony Fernandes realise his vision of a bright future for the Londoners.
Warnock added: "I had a chat with Adel last week. Adel was straight away right about it. He appreciates how far we have come now and that we need to drive on now."
Shaun Wright-Phillips was the most impressive of QPR's debutants. The former Manchester City winger had a delightful chip cleared off the line and looked lively throughout, although he should have buried a second-half chance when clear in the box.
Warnock believes the 29-year-old, who failed to live up to the hype surrounding him at City and Chelsea, will have a good season at Loftus Road. And he said: "I know I'm biased but I think he can get a lot better than that personally. I said before the game he could get into double figures in terms of goals this year.
"Shaun has seen a lot of players come and go at his previous clubs and some don't have as much ability as him, but it's about opportunities. He is a player who people will want to watch."