‘Incredible’ - Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton makes bold statement about future
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The Gas have signed 12 players this summer, and with a day left in the window, have so far managed to hold on to their prized asset Aaron Collins. Rovers hold ambitions of a play-off push, and Barton has been well backed in the window this summer by co-owner Wael al-Qadi.
A fee was paid to Stoke City to bring Connor Taylor back to the Memorial Stadium, meanwhile League One winning players Jack Hunt and James Wilson have been brought in. Rovers have also snapped up Luke Thomas and Jevani Brown on free transfers, along with the highly-rated Harvey Vale who arrived on loan from Chelsea.
Barton - entering his third-year at the helm, said on Saturday: “I’ve never been more confident about a football team, and I’ve never been more confident about where a club is at and the progression we’re all making.
“We’ve just got to stick together and work our socks off to get better all the time. As I say, there’s hopefully an incredible period ahead for those of the blue and white quarters.”
A home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday has left Rovers 17th in the league standings with five games gone and just one victory, but there is a hope that form will pick up shortly. Rovers have picked up points at promotion rivals Portsmouth and Charlton Athletic, but will need to turn their dominance in games into points.
As for Rovers’ plans for deadline day, a pursuit of Jonson Clarke-Harris or a player of his calibre is on the radar for Friday. Barton is keen to get a striker in to be the ‘tip of the spear’ and should the opportunity to reunite with the two-time Golden Boot winner emerge then they’d pursue it.
One or two players could be moved out of the club on deadline day too with James Belshaw one of the expected departures. He has fallen out of favour following the arrival of Matt Cox, and there is a hope that he could find a club that works for all parties.