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‘I was trying to win at Rangers… but it didn’t work out’: Joey Barton insists the real reasons for his Ibrox exit will remain private

Joey Barton (SNS Group)
Joey Barton (SNS Group)

JOEY BARTON insists the real reasons for the explosive end to his Rangers career will remain private.

The controversial midfielder lasted just eight games in Glasgow before he was frozen out following a row with boss Mark Warburton and team-mate Andy Halliday.

The 34-year-old has since re-signed for Burnley after Gers took the decision to cancel his contract.

But the former Manchester City, Newcastle and QPR player says he has too much respect for his former employers to divulge what really happened in the build-up to his exit.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I’ve got an enormous amount of respect for Rangers as a football club, the fans, the tradition – everything that it stands for.

“I ain’t going to come on the radio and have a go and air my dirty laundry in public about Rangers.

“It’s just not something I aspire to do. It’s not something I’m going to do today, in two months, in 10 months or in two years.

“I’m focused on Burnley. I’ve got N’Golo Kante and Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. I’ve got to use every bit of energy I’ve got trying to turn in a performance against arguably the best player in the league.

“I can’t focus on what’s going on in Scotland – that’s not my bag any more. What’s happened’s happened.”

Joey Barton (SNS Group)
Joey Barton (SNS Group)

Barton made his move north with the intention of helping Rangers wrestle the Ladbrokes Premiership title from Celtic.

But it quickly turned sour after his training-ground bust-up two days after Gers’ humiliating 5-1 thrashing by their Old Firm rivals in September.

Since then the Hoops have romped 27 points clear, with Warburton’s team now down to third after Saturday’s draw with Ross County.

Barton, though, is refusing to take the blame.

Asked if he had any regrets about his Ibrox switch, he said: “I don’t, really. I’m not really one for living in the past. This life is short.

“We would all do things differently, but the only person we know who had the ability to travel back in time and change things was a fiction of Hollywood.

“It’s about ploughing on with the future and seeing what we can do better. I’m focused on that because I don’t have the ability to lose track of that.

“This is the Premier League and we play Chelsea at home on Sunday. I can’t waste any energy looking back over my shoulder because the challenge in front of me in incredible.

“I was trying to win at Rangers. I went in there with the ability, knowledge and expertise on how to win – but it didn’t work out.

“That wasn’t through any lack of desire or determination on my part. I look myself in the mirror in the morning and know I did everything I could possibly do to achieve those goals.

“But ultimately I’m a footballer, I have a contract of employment and maybe the way I go about things isn’t entirely in everybody’s fashion. I can’t and won’t apologise for that.

“I left an incredible environment at Burnley to walk out on the Premier League for less money to help somebody win a title, to put a football club back on the map. It just didn’t work out.

“The facts of the matter are that Rangers are 27 points behind Celtic. Things can always work out differently but that’s nothing to do with me. My focus at this time is on Burnley. Everything outside of that is outside of my control.”