Joey Barton takes charge of Portsmouth and Sunderland's rivals Bristol Rovers

Joey Barton. Picture: Jason BrownJoey Barton. Picture: Jason Brown
Joey Barton. Picture: Jason Brown
Joey Barton has been appointed manager of Pompey’s League One rivals Bristol Rovers.

The former Man City midfielder has signed a deal at the Memorial Stadium until 2023.

Barton becomes Rovers’ third manager of the season, after Ben Garner and Paul Tisdale were both sacked.

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Despite a major overhaul of their squad in the summer, the Gas languish just above the League One relegation zone in 19th.

Director of football Tommy Widdrington was holding the reins at the Memorial after Tisdale’s departure earlier this month and engineered Rovers a 3-1 victory over Pompey last week.

But after losing to Gillingham at the weekend, the Somerset outfit have moved to appoint Barton.

Barton has been out of work since leaving third-tier rivals Fleetwood in January.

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Rovers president Wael Al Qadi said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Joey to Bristol Rovers and look forward to working closely with him to progress our football club forward.

‘Joey's experience in the game is matched by his passion for coaching and delivering results, which made him a standout candidate for the role.

‘He's got a good knowledge of the league already thanks to his spell at Fleetwood and has shown his credentials at delivering results and getting the best out of the players he works with.

‘We are confident that he will be able to continue the ongoing development of the younger players coming through the ranks at the Club and speaking to him, I know his ambitions align with what we want to achieve as a football club.

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‘I want to wish Joey, the staff and the players the very best of luck for the coming games, as we look to cement our safety in Sky Bet League One and build for the future.’

Bristol Rovers travel to Fratton Park on Friday, 24 April.