Bristol Rovers have confirmed the appointment of former England and Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton as their new manager.
Barton has been out of a job since he was sacked by Fleetwood Town last month following a run of just one victory in seven League One matches – with the Cod Army sitting seven in the standings.
Having signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Gas, Barton will get straight down to work, and will be in the dugout for the Pirates’ crucial relegation clash with Wigan tomorrow evening.
Bristol Rovers currently sit two points above the bottom-four following just one League One win in 2021.
Quiz: Who has done more of these 15 things out of Bristol City and Bristol Rovers?
They’ve been searching for a new manager since the departure of Paul Tisdale, who notched only five victories from his 19 matches in the dugout, earlier this month.
Barton himself led Fleetwood to the play-offs in his third season as Highbury, but departed soon after a fallout with striker Ched Evans, who has since left himself to sign for Preston North End.
Given his past, the appointment of Barton was always going to be controversial, although many Bristol Rovers fans on Twitter appear delighted with the decision by the club’s hierarchy:
Can't say I'm happy with the appointment, just don't think this will end well at all – especially with his court case coming up. But this is my club, I'll back the boys on the pitch as I always have. Just hope to god JB keeps his attitude in check and doesn't embarrass the club
— Jaryd 🍊 (@Jaryd07) February 22, 2021
Very happy with this appointment. Some understandably won’t like what he’s done in the past, but his personality is exactly what the dressing room needs right now.
— mitchh 🏴 (@Harrington1995) February 22, 2021
Welcome joey.Fantastic appointment, absolutely delighted with this certain we’ll stay up now. Roll on tomorrow #UTG
— alfie rendall (@RendallAlfie) February 22, 2021
Great to see the club taking a risk? Really positive move! At least they’ll have some “fighting” spirit
— Tim Powell (@TimTimpowel007) February 22, 2021
THINGS YOU LOVE TO SEEEEEEE💙💙💙
— Matt Simons (@Matty_Simons) February 22, 2021
Anyone not happy with this appointment then don’t watch and don’t support rovers again pathetic 🤡 he’s just what we need since Darrell we have had soft pe teacher type managers and that’s not worked,
He will get they young lads going and the fans once back joey barton welcome🙌🏻
— spilly (@spilllee) February 22, 2021
— Tom Butler (@Texy78Butler) February 22, 2021
Good luck Joey . All we want is 100% commitment from the players . We are good enough to stay up . But have had 2 poor appointments. UTG
— Mark Connell (@thegas90) February 22, 2021
Don't like this appointment, no I hate it, but I will back the Gas regardless. Do the Business Mr Barton for as long as you can.
— Cliff Toghill (@cliff_toghill) February 22, 2021