Fratton Park’s unhappy memories for ex-Portsmouth target Joey Barton

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Joey Barton will on Saturday venture to the club he almost joined.

What’s more, he will oversee his Fleetwood side at a ground which proved an unhappy presence during his playing career.

Joey Barton battles Pompey's Matt Taylor for the ball during his Manchester City playing days.

Joey Barton battles Pompey's Matt Taylor for the ball during his Manchester City playing days.

It was August 2008 when then-Pompey boss Harry Redknapp attempted to prise Barton from Newcastle in a deadline-day move.

The potential move was resisted by Toon manager Kevin Keegan, despite given encouragement from the Mike Ashley regime which a week later would receive their boss’ resignation.

Ultimately, Redknapp missed out on his midfield target as he attempted to bolster a team which the previous season had won the FA Cup and finished eighth in the Premier League.

Yet during a playing career which saw Barton visit Fratton Park on five occasions – through his time with Manchester City and Newcastle – he tasted victory just once.

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton was a member of the Manchester City side on the receiving end of Pedro Mendes in March 2006

Fleetwood boss Joey Barton was a member of the Manchester City side on the receiving end of Pedro Mendes in March 2006

The ever-controversial figure also collected three defeats and a draw during previous south-coast visits.

Undoubtedly the most high-profile loss he suffered at Fratton Park was the match affectionately known as the ‘Pedro Mendes game’.

On March 11, 2006, relegation-doomed Pompey initiated the Great Escape following a 2-1 triumph over Barton’s Manchester City.

He featured for the full 90 minutes as Stuart Pearce’s side suffered a last-gasp loss courtesy of Mendes’ second stunning strike of the Premier League encounter.

The Blues, of course, then embarked on an improbable run which resulted in safety being secured at Wigan with a match to spare.

Barton was also on the receiving end of a Fratton Park defeat in February 2007, with Mendes again scoring.

Except this time it was Kanu who weighed in with the late winner, arriving on 81 minutes, as Redknapp’s men won 2-1 in the Premier League fixture.

Pompey enjoyed home success over Manchester City – and Barton – during their maiden Premier League campaign in 2003-04.

Redknapp’s side had collected a point at Maine Road in the second match of the season, yet were claiming victory in the return game on January 2004.

Yakubu netted twice, with Dejan Stefanovic and Teddy Sheringham also contributing, during a stunning 4-2 romp over their visitors, who had scored through Nicolas Anelka and Antoine Sibierski.

Barton’s final match at Fratton Park was a goalless draw for Newcastle in April 2008.

Undoubtedly the reverse fixture at St James’ Park earlier that season has lived longer in the memory – particularly a stunning Noe Pamarot volley in a 4-1 Blues victory.

Pompey raced into a 3-0 lead after only 11 minutes to register that November 2007 hammering in front of a crowd of 51,490.

Of course, Barton has also experienced rare Fratton Park joy.

The sole occasion arrived in November 2004, when he featured for Manchester City in a 3-1 victory, decisive goals from Antoine Sibierski and Paul Bosvelt arriving in the final 11 minutes.

Now Barton returns as manager of eighth-placed Fleetwood, hoping for happier times in front of the Fratton faithful.