Joey Barton refuses to accept relegation on CV after Portsmouth send Bristol Rovers down to League Two

Joey Barton refused to accept a relegation on his managerial CV after Pompey sent Bristol Rovers down to League Two.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 12:00 pm

The Blues' 1-0 win at Fratton Park confirmed the Gas' relegation amid a lacklustre season.

Barton is the third person to hold the Memorial Stadium helm this term, with Rovers previously sacking Ben Garner and Paul Tisdale.

Ronan Curtis' 27th-minute strike sealed Pompey's victory to keep them in the play-off race.

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Barton admitted he never felt like the Gas would equalise after Curtis’ intervention – and he’s long been planning for life in the fourth tier.

He told the Bristol Post: ‘For me as a coach, it’s a strange one because deep down I don’t think I will ever accept this is a relegation on my CV, albeit it will live there forever, but I’m absolutely convinced that had we had our processes and things in place, this should never happen. It should never happen.

‘It can happen to you in the top divisions if you don’t have quality in the building, but in the lower leagues you just have to be fit and organised, that’s half the battle.

‘We’ve gone down having a scrap today. Portsmouth have had one shot on goal and managed to win the game. We could be out here all day, we ain’t going to score a goal with what we’ve got going on at this moment.

Joey Barton. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

‘Looking to the future, and that’s all you can do. The sooner this season’s done and dusted, if I could finish it tomorrow and get rid of them all and a report date for pre-season, I would do, but we’ve got fixtures to fulfil and we’ve got to give our all.

‘We’ve been here a long time. It’s tough because there moments where you think if you keep playing like that consistently, but there’s key moments where you can do anything about it, you can’t coach that.

‘You can’t coach people to play football if they’re playing at Fratton Park in April with three games to go in the season. You can’t be teaching to play football like that.’