Joey Barton spoke exclusively to me about his time in Scottish football.
“We got overrun and lost 5-1 to Celtic. I thought we could use that as a reality check.”
“On Sunday, Warbs phoned meand asked me to have breakfast with him. I left that thinking he was in over his head.”
“On Monday I went in thinking, ‘This is Ground Zero – day one when Rangers rebuild themselves.
“There was a real intense training session. Miller, Halliday, Wallace were hurt by the result and it was right on the edge of going over – but that’s how you should train at elite level.
Me and Andy were on opposite teams. He was pissed off at being left out and I was pissed off with the result.
“We had a couple of ding-dongs and at one point lads got in between us but it was never going to be a dust-up. Instead of letting it go on, Warbs stopped the session and had a shooting session. I walked off, thinking, ‘This is a f***ing waste of my time’.
“Stuff was said that doesn’t cover me, Mark or Davie (Weir) in glory and should remain behind closed doors but we had a fundamental disagreement about where the team and club was going.
“I knew when things were being
said that it was me or him who would be going. I was cool with that. It needed resolving.
“I should have left a week earlier but if I’d done that before the Celtic game, people would have said I was a sh**bag.
“I was made the scapegoat but
went back to Burnley where I was so de-conditioned by the standard of Rangers’ training that I had to train like crazy to get back up to Premier League standard.
“But I got back and showed I was a Premier League player.”