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Francis Jeffers scores twice for Accrington Stanley: LEAGUE TWO review

League Two round-up: Former England man Jeffers bags two for Stanley exactly ten years after turning out for Arsenal in the Champions League

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

22:24 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 19 March 2013

LEAGUE TWO RESULTS

Accrington 4-0 AFC Wimbledon

Bradford 1-0 Wycombe

Rochdale 1-1 Gillingham

Southend 0-2 Plymouth

Torquay 2-1 Chesterfield

Barnet 2-0 Fleetwood

Former England striker Francis Jeffers scored twice to earn Accrington a crucial 4-0 win over AFC Wimbledon, which moved them off the foot of npower League Two and out of the drop zone.

Jeffers, playing for the league's bottom club exactly 10 years to the day since he appeared for Arsenal against Valencia in the Champions League, put Stanley two up with goals in the fifth and 19th minutes.

Will Hatfield added a third before the break and Lee Molyneux completed the rout.

Fran the man: Accrington Stanley escaped the relegation zone thanks to two Francis Jeffers goals

Fran the man: Accrington Stanley escaped the relegation zone thanks to two Francis Jeffers goals

Back in the day: Jeffers' brace comes 10 years to the day since he turned out for Arsenal in the Champions League

Back in the day: Jeffers' brace comes 10 years to the day since he turned out for Arsenal in the Champions League

LEAGUE TWO TABLE

League Two

The win took Accrington two points above the bottom two in the desperate fight to stay in the league.

It was a good night for the sides battling to stay up, with Torquay, Plymouth and Barnet, three of five sides level on points at the bottom at the start of the day, also winning.

Torquay won 2-1 at home to Chesterfield thanks to two goals in the opening eight minutes from Joss Labadie and Rene Howe.

Liam Cooper pulled one back in the 77th minute, but United held on.

Argyle had to wait a little longer to make the breakthrough at Southend, but a Paul Wotton penalty after 57 minutes and a Reuben Reid finish after 75 earned them a 2-0 victory.

Barnet were also 2-0 winners, at home to Fleetwood, thanks to a goal in each half from Mark Byrne and Luke Gambin.

It all meant Aldershot and York, not in action tonight, slipped into the relegation places.

At the other end of the table, league
leaders Gillingham had to come from behind to draw 1-1 at Rochdale,
Danny Kedwell's 56th-minute header cancelling out George Donnelly's
opener.

Capital One Cup
finalists Bradford boosted their hopes of getting into the play-offs
with a 1-0 win at home to Wycombe, Garry Thompson the scorer after seven
minutes.

Sitting out: Suspended Barnet manager Edgar Davids watched his side win 2-0

Sitting out: Suspended Barnet manager Edgar Davids watched his side win 2-0

Fleetwood sack Micky Mellon after FA Cup defeat at Aldershot

Fleetwood sack! Mellon gets marching orders after cup reverse at Aldershot

PUBLISHED:

19:43 GMT, 1 December 2012

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UPDATED:

20:03 GMT, 1 December 2012

Fleetwood have sacked manager Micky Mellon in the aftermath of their FA Cup second-round defeat to Aldershot.

The 3-2 reverse was the Cod Army's
third consecutive defeat in all competitions but they remain well-placed
in npower League Two, where they currently occupy the final play-off
spot after 20 matches of their debut Football League season.

Mellon, 40, led Fleetwood to the Blue
Square Bet Premier title last season having also masterminded their
ascent from the Conference North two years earlier.

Marching orders: Micky Mellon has been sacked by Fleetwood

Marching orders: Micky Mellon has been sacked by Fleetwood

A brief statement on the club's official website read: 'Fleetwood Town wish to announce that manager Micky Mellon's contract has been terminated with immediate effect.

'The club would like to place on record our sincere appreciation for what he has achieved during his time with the club.'

James Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

EXCLUSIVE: Former Southampton and Everton striker Beattie enjoying fresh start at Accrington

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UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 16 November 2012

'Two boys talking in the famous Milk Marketing Board TV advert of 1989: ‘Milk Urrrggh!’

‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He says if I don’t drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’ll only be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’

‘Accrington Stanley Who are they’

‘Exactly!’

There are many reasons why James Beattie finds himself in the unlikely surroundings of Accrington Stanley at the moment, but forgetting to drink his milk is not one of them.

A bust-up with Tony Pulis at Stoke, an injury at Rangers, the death of his father while Beattie was on loan at Blackpool and an ill-timed red card at Sheffield United have all contributed to a player who once commanded more than 15million in transfer fees pitching up at the 5,000-capacity Crown Ground, just a few miles from where he was brought up in East Lancashire.

Scroll down for memorable milk advert video…

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

New start: Beattie (right) with Accrington boss Leam Richardson

When he was asked by his old Blackburn Rovers team-mate Leam Richardson to help out as player-coach at the League Two club last week, 34-year-old Beattie was only too happy to oblige.

He is one of a number of ex-Premier League players forced to drop down the divisions just to get a game these days.

Tonight the former England striker is in line to make his debut against Edgar Davids at Barnet. Just along the road from Accrington at Fleetwood Town, Barry Ferguson has also popped up in English football's fourth tier.

Beattie recently offered to join Swindon on a pay-as-you-play basis. They said no.

'No offence, but Swindon!' he says. 'The market is dead at the moment. There are so many pros out of a job.

'I know that even people within football say I don't want to play any more. They can think what they want, that's totally wrong. I won't stop because I've been knocked back by a few clubs. As long as I've got that spark to get out of bed in the morning and play football, I will pursue it.

'You're just waiting for somebody to give you a chance. It's a little bit like starting again.

'Realistically, I know I could hold my own at Championship level. The Premier League is probably gone but you never know – I'm a proven goalscorer at that level.

'It's just the match sharpness, which is exactly why I've gone to Accrington.'

Fresh start: James Beattie

Beattie has signed a contract until January 9 and will also help Richardson, even though he previously had few plans to go into coaching.

He remembers the slope on Accrington's pitch from schoolboy cup finals he played there as a teenager. The club have moved on, though, no longer known simply for that TV advert and the two little boys from Liverpool who had never heard of Accrington Stanley.

These days most of the players are from Merseyside and support Everton, as Beattie found out en route to his first training session.

'We were training at my old school,' says the former 6m Everton signing. 'I was following a car full of our lads up the M65 but they missed the turn-off, came off at the next junction and got back on.

'It was only later when they were laughing their heads off at training that they explained it was because the driver had Googled me on his iPhone and was watching my goals for Everton!

'They're saying, “We can't believe Beattie's here”. It's given them a bit of a lift as well. But I've told Leam I want to fight for my place, otherwise it's not fair on the other lads.

'There were a few raised eyebrows when I came in for the game on Saturday. We used to play cup finals at Accy Stanley when I was 14 or 15, and a couple of the older guys have said it's nice to see me. I'm on hardly anything but I'll give the lads my time and put everything I've got into it.

Target man: Beattie has scored goals

Target man: Beattie has scored more than 100 goals

'I was driving over the other morning for my first session and I was excited. That tells me it's the right thing to do. A football club is a unique environment.Many ex-pros miss going in and having the banter. There are a lot of ex-footballers around where I live in Cheshire. I see people like Graeme Souness and they say, “Keep playing as long as you can because you're a long time retired”.

'I'm sure Edgar Davids doesn't need to play football. Why would he be playing for Barnet Because he loves football. Barry Ferguson's another. When it's in your blood, it's in your blood.'

Beattie has been largely out of the spotlight since he left Stoke just over two years ago.

Legal reasons prevent him from talking about the well-publicised dressing-room clash with Pulis in December 2009 which hastened his departure, and a fresh start in Scotland was cut short by injury.

/11/15/article-2233642-03EEE827000005DC-243_634x552.jpg” width=”634″ height=”552″ alt=”National service: Beattie played for England” class=”blkBorder” />

National service: Beattie played five times for England

Just when Beattie looked to be finding his feet at Sheffield United last season, a sending-off against Exeter City cost him a place in the League One play-offs and, he believes, the chance of a contract.

He tried his luck across town at Sheffield Wednesday but a few weeks' training came to nothing. 'They said it was probably to do with the budget but a couple of days later they went and signed Jay Bothroyd and subsidised 25,000-a-week wages!' he says. 'I thought, “I'm a big boy, if you don't want to sign me just tell me”.'

Beattie doesn't need the money. The former Southampton striker has bought a house in Poole and is about to move back to the south coast with wife Sarah and their three children, sons James and George and baby daughter Halle.

One of his other business interests is to act as mentor to young players represented by his agent James Featherstone.

'They don't always get the right advice,' he says. ' “Don't be dazzled by the lights” is one of my favourites because a lot of them do. They don't know how lucky they are to be in that position. You can't abuse the fact you're earning good money.

'Your career earnings should go up and then tail off a bit, but when you retire it's a cliff face. Your salary from football doesn't just slow down, it stops.

'I've been lucky with the people I've had around me. I've got other things in place that can sustain my lifestyle for the rest of my life. I'm not going to say I didn't have fun, but I could retire if I wanted to – I just don't want to.'

VIDEO: Accrington Stanley, who are they EXACTLY!

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League Two review: Gillingham stay top after Burton thrashing

League Two review: Gills stuff Burton as Fleetwood lose ground after draw

PUBLISHED:

20:00 GMT, 20 October 2012

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 20 October 2012

League Two leaders Gillingham continued their fine start to the season with a thumping 4-1 victory over Burton Albion.

Tom Flanagan (22) and Matt Fish (40) put the Gills two up at half-time and, although Zander Diamond pulled one back (54), Myles Weston (59) and Joe Martin (63) quickly put the game beyond Burton.

Gillingham have 32 points after 13 games and stayed three ahead of Port Vale after they won by the same scoreline against Wycombe.

Winning feeling: Matt Fish is congratulated by Lewis Montrose after scoring for Gillingham

Winning feeling: Matt Fish is congratulated by Lewis Montrose after scoring for Gillingham

Joel Grant put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 20th minute but Jo Kuffour was sent off just before half-time and Vale took full advantage.

Ben Williamson (59) drew them level and Tom Pope netted his 15th and 16th goals of the season in the 66th and 87th minutes before Ashley Vincent made it four in injury time.

Fleetwood lost ground after being held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Wimbledon, Byron Harrison cancelling out Steven Gillespie's 10th-minute opener just after the hour mark.

Bradford ended a four-game run without a win by beating Cheltenham 3-1 to climb to fifth and within a point of their opponents.

Marlon Pack gave the visitors the lead with a 29th-minute penalty but Nahki Wells levelled, also from the spot, on the stroke of half-time and City went on to win it with a second from Wells (68) and one from James Meredith (83).

All square: Fleetwood Town's Dean Hoell and AFC Wimbledon's goal scorer Byron Harrison fight for the ball

All square: Fleetwood Town's Dean Hoell and AFC Wimbledon's goal scorer Byron Harrison fight for the ball

Sixth-placed Exeter have now lost five of their last six games after Chris Atkinson (32) earned Chesterfield a 1-0 win while Rochdale dropped out of the top six following a 3-1 defeat by Plymouth.

A Guy Madjo penalty and a header from Andres Gurrieri put the hosts two up inside seven minutes and Bobby Grant missed a penalty (55) before Dele Adebola (76) did pull one back. Madjo made sure with a second penalty in injury time.

Rotherham secured a 3-0 victory away at struggling Aldershot with goals from Lee Frecklington (34), Robert Harris (56) and Alex Revell (82).

Struggling Bristol Rovers gained a valuable three points in a 3-2 victory over 10-man Torquay. Tom Eaves (15) and Matthew Lund (17) put Rovers two up before Joe Oastler was sent off for a second yellow card.

Torquay defied their numerical disadvantage to level through Rene Howe (53), scoring for the seventh straight league game, and Aaron Downes (59) but Eaves popped up with the winner 14 minutes from time.

Morecambe left it until two minutes from time to net the winner against Southend, Jack Redshaw earning a 1-0 win, although the match ended on a sour note when Richard Brodie was dismissed for violent conduct.

The biggest winners of the day were Oxford, for whom Tom Craddock scored the opening four goals (12, 23, 36, 71) in a 5-0 victory over Accrington. Alfie Potter grabbed the fifth 12 minutes from time.

York were the division's final winners, 3-2 against Dagenham & Redbridge. Ashley Chambers' opener (19) was quickly cancelled out by Luke Wilkinson (23) but Chambers (37) and Matty Blair (65) restored the advantage before Wilkinson netted a late consolation.

Eddie Howe named Bournemouth manager after 1.4m fee agreed

Bournemouth pay 1.4m to snap up former boss Howe from Burnley

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 12 October 2012

Back again: Manager Eddie Howe

Back again: Manager Eddie Howe

Bournemouth have agreed a compensation package of around 1.4million with Burnley for manager Eddie Howe.

Howe, 34, who left Bournemouth for Burnley 21 months ago, has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal worth 750,000 a year and will also take assistant Jason Tindall.

Howe, whose mother died in March, said: ‘It’s been tough. To leave is incredibly difficult but I feel it’s a decision I have to make for my family and for personal reasons.’

Burnley, 16th in the Championship with 11 points, said they were ‘surprised and disappointed’.

Although ex-manager Owen Coyle could return, he may take a break after leaving Bolton. Paul Cook (Accrington), Steve Davis (Crewe), Micky Mellon (Fleetwood), Karl Robinson (MK Dons) and Michael Appleton (Portsmouth) are other possibilities.

Off the pace: Burnley are languishing in the bottom half of the Championship

Off the pace: Burnley are languishing in the bottom half of the Championship

League Two round-up: Gillingham thump Bristol Rovers

League Two round-up: Gillingham thump Bristol Rovers as Exeter are held

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UPDATED:

19:40 GMT, 15 September 2012

Gillingham extended their lead at the top of npower League Two to three points on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 home win over Bristol Rovers.

The Gills did most of the damage in the first half, going 3-0 up thanks to a Danny Kedwell penalty in the fifth minute, a header from the same player 10 minutes later and Charlie Lee's nodded effort seconds before the interval.

Chris Whelpdale headed in a fourth eight minutes from time for the hosts, who now have 16 points from their opening six league fixtures this term.

At the start of the day they had been a point clear of second-placed Exeter, who drop to fourth after their 1-1 home draw with York, a result they salvaged through John O'Flynn's late equaliser after Michael Coulson had put the Minstermen in front.

The Grecians have been leapfrogged in the table by Port Vale and Fleetwood, who both join them on 13 points after victories on Saturday afternoon.

Held: Exeter slipped down to fourth place after playing out a 1-1 draw against York

Held: Exeter slipped down to fourth place after playing out a 1-1 draw against York

Vale are up to second with a 3-1 win at Plymouth, who were ahead through Robbie Williams before the away side responded with a Jennison Myrie-Williams penalty and goals from Ashley Vincent and Ben Williamson.

Third-placed Fleetwood, meanwhile, secured their three points right at the death as Andy Mangan's stoppage-time header earned them a 1-0 triumph at home against Northampton, the visitors having been reduced to 10 men in the first half by Danny East's dismissal.

Accrington stay fifth after a 1-1 draw at Dagenham, Peter Murphy ensuring Stanley's point late on by cancelling out Luke Howell's goal for the hosts.

Alex Revell's finish saw Rotherham to a 1-0 home victory over Torquay which saw them move up to sixth, while Bradford advanced into the final play-off berth with a 3-0 home win against rock-bottom Barnet, second-half goals from James Hanson, Alan Connell and Andrew Davies sealing it.

Southend came from behind to beat Cheltenham 3-1 away, the visitors hitting back after Jermaine McGlashan's early goal through Sean Clohessy, Britt Assombalonga and Mark Phillips.

Calvin Zola and Jacques Maghoma notched a brace each as Burton routed Oxford 4-0 at home, while Aldershot and Morecambe drew 0-0.

Elsewhere, Rochdale defeated Wimbledon 2-1 away, Dele Adebola and Bobby Grant putting the visitors in charge in the first half – with visiting striker Jack Midson being shown a red card between the two goals – before Luke Moore's late reply, and Chesterfield won 3-1 at home against Wycombe.

Wanderers had Leon Johnson sent off after only 10 minutes and the hosts soon took advantage, Chris Atkinson and Jack Lester swiftly netting. A Neal Trotman own-goal gave Wycombe hope, but Sam Hird then added Chesterfield's third.

Capital One Cup: Sheffield Wednesday produce comeback to beat Oldham as Nottingham Forest see off Fleetwood

Capital One Cup round up: Owls beat Oldham as Forest edge past Fleetwood

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 13 August 2012

Sheffield Wednesday produced a fantastic second-half fightback after going two goals down to see off Oldham 4-2 in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

The npower Championship side were two goals down after just 26 minutes as Jordan Slew marked his debut with a strike from close range and Jean Yves Mvoto put the League One side firmly in control with a fine header.

But Jermaine Johnson and Chris O'Grady – both former Oldham players – rescued them after the interval, the latter bagging a brace before Michail Antonio completed the win.

Comeback complete: Chris O'Grady scores Sheffield Wednesday's third goal

Comeback complete: Chris O'Grady scores Sheffield Wednesday's third goal

Graham Westley left the Deepdale dugout to a standing ovation after his new-look Preston team booked their place in the second round with a 2-0 defeat of Huddersfield.

Westley endured a troubled time after taking over at Preston last season but saw his side make the perfect start to the new campaign when Jack King headed home after 29 minutes.

Nicky Wroe, a summer signing from Shrewsbury, then doubled the lead five minutes before the break to help the League One side into the next round.

Pushed all the way: Dexter Blackstock scored as Nottingham Forest saw off Fleetwood

Pushed all the way: Dexter Blackstock scored as Nottingham Forest saw off Fleetwood

A second half goal from Dexter Blackstock gave Nottingham Forest a narrow victory over Football League newcomers Fleetwood Town.

Blackstock earned his side a passage into the second round with the only goal of the game after 57 minutes.

The experienced Andy Reid produced a superb delivery from the left which was met by the unmarked striker at the far post.

His first header was well saved by Scott Davies but the rebound fell perfectly into his path and he stroked the ball into the empty net from close range.

Joey Barton won"t join Blackpool, says Ian Holloway

Joey's a great lad, but I'm not signing him… Holloway rules out move for Barton

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UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 13 August 2012

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has ruled out signing Joey Barton.

The QPR midfielder will begin a 12-match ban this weekend following his sending off and subsequent actions on the final day of last season against Manchester City.

A summer stint training with npower Football League newcomers Fleetwood finished at the weekend after QPR rejected the idea of Barton spending time on loan in League Two.

New club: Barton has been training with Fleetwood Town

New club: Barton has been training with Fleetwood Town

That prompted a number of national newspapers to link Barton with a switch to last season's beaten Championship play-off finalists, but Holloway insists such talk is wide of the mark.

'I haven't got a clue where the Joey Barton rumours came from,' he told the Blackpool Gazette.

'I can't sign someone who I couldn't pick for 12 matches.

'If you look at the central midfield players I have, that's not the area I need players. I need strikers. Joey's a great lad but I don't know where that talk came from.'

Joey Barton set to join Fleetwood Town on six month loan

QPR badboy Barton close to shock loan move to League Two newboys Fleetwood Town

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UPDATED:

16:35 GMT, 3 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

QPR midfielder Joey Barton looks set to join Football League newboys Fleetwood Town on a six-month loan deal.

The 29-year-old midfielder will serve a 12-match suspension at the start of the season but a move to the Football League will see him return to action sooner because they play more games early on.

He could now return on 6 October or sooner, six weeks earlier than if he stayed at QPR.

Friendly appearance: Joey Barton played for Fleetwood Town in a friendly match against SPL side Kilmarnock

Friendly appearance: Joey Barton played for Fleetwood Town in a friendly match against SPL side Kilmarnock

The loan deal is expected to be finalised over the weekend, according to BBC Radio Lancashire.

But Barton took to his Twitter account to say that the deal was not yet done, but did not denied a possible move, he said: 'I've not signed for Fleetwood. Just currently enjoying training there…'

Barton played 45 minutes of Fleetwood's friendly with Kilmarnock on Tuesday and is now hopeful of playing against Tranmere in Saturday's friendly.

Keeping fit: Barton joined the League Two newboys to train during pre-season

Keeping fit: Barton joined the League Two newboys to train during pre-season

Joining in: Barton has been training at Fleetwood while he was banned from QPR's pre-season tour of Asia

Joining in: Barton has been training at Fleetwood while he was banned from QPR's pre-season tour of Asia

The one-time England international agreed to join the Football League newcomers for a week during pre-season, but was not expected to play a match.

He was sent off on the final day of last season as QPR lost at Manchester City and was later found guilty of two counts of violent conduct by the Football Association.

Rangers fined Barton six weeks' wages and stripped him of the club captaincy, as well as leaving him out of the squad for their pre-season tour of Malaysia.

Joey Barton trains at Fleetwood Town

Away from the glamour of pre-season tours, Barton starts training at minnows Fleetwood

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 26 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Joey Barton trained with lowly Fleetwood Town today for the first time as he bids to resurrect his career.

The controversial 29-year-old was left out of Queens Park Rangers' pre-season tour because of a 12-match ban he picked up at the end of last season.

Barton faces a battle to prove he is worth keeping at Loftus Road, although they will struggle to offload his 70,000-a-week contract.

All change: Joey Barton spent his first day in training with League Two minnows Fleetwood Town

All change: Joey Barton spent his first day in training with League Two minnows Fleetwood Town

The player admits he has fallen out
of love with football and hopes that his stint training with League Two
Fleetwood – who were promoted from the Blue Square Premier League in May
– will reignite his passion for the game.

Barton is training with the minnows
for the next week and will work alongside his friend and fellow
Liverpudlian Andrew Mangan, who plays for Fleetwood.

The club train at Flyde Rugby Club, which is only a short drive from Blackpool airport.

Head down: The former QPR captain arrives at Fleetwood's training ground

Head down: The former QPR captain arrives at Fleetwood's training ground at Fylde rugby club (below)

Ready to go: Barton leaves the dressing rooms at Fleetwood's Fylde RFC training base

Ready to go: Barton leaves the dressing rooms at Fleetwood's Fylde RFC training base

Barton looked to be enjoying himself
during the session and even showed off his new shorter haircut after
deciding to ditch his quiff.

Earlier this week, Barton admitted he
is carrying scars from the shocking incident at the Etihad Stadium that
saw him attack several members of Manchester City's team after being
sent off.

Barton wrote on his personal website:
'I have become a little disenchanted with the game in the last 6 months
after what I have put myself through and I desperately want to fall
back in love with the game.

Man in the middle: Barton (minus his quiff) lines up with the League Two squad

Man in the middle: Barton (minus his quiff) lines up with the League Two squad

Running man: Fleetwood's players look pleased to have Premier League midfielder Barton joining their pre-season preparations

Running man: Fleetwood's players look pleased to have Premier League midfielder Barton joining their pre-season preparations

'I feel that training in the lower
leagues will give me a reality check and maybe help me become a better
person, a little more humility will serve me well.

'The lower leagues is where the
hunger for the game is at its greatest, at least where players are
concerned.

'I want to re-ignite that passion for the game, something that
I ordinarily have an abundance of.
Working hard: Barton looks to impress during the exercise drills

Working hard: Barton looks to impress during the exercise drills

Centre of attention: Barton will spend a week training with the newly-promoted League Two side

Centre of attention: Barton will spend a week training with the newly-promoted League Two side

'No monetary b*******. No media
b******* (though apparently there still is!). No prima donnas. Just
pure, old school, mortgage/livelihoods on the line, b****-out football.

'It’ll help me appreciate all that
the Premier league offers me now and in the future. What else can I do
Work hard, fall back in love with the game and keep my fingers crossed
that I can once again earn my place in a QPR shirt.'