Celtic hero Scott Brown’s Joey Barton admission amid reunion of Old Firm pair at Bristol Rovers

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Bristol Rovers host Fleetwood Town at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, November 12

Fleetwood Town manager Scott Brown says that he does not plan to reignite his rivalry with Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton. The two were rivals during their time in Scotland.

Brown is in his first job in football management after taking over the Cod Army in the summer and is currently following his remit of League One survival. The 37-year-old succeeded Michael Appleton and after a brief coaching stint at Aberdeen, has the Lancashire side in 15th, a place higher than the Gas.

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Fleetwood have Oxford United on Tuesday night in a rearranged fixture but the attention turns to the FA Cup this weekend. Rovers host Rochdale and Fleetwood at home against Oxford City. But when league action resumes next Saturday fans expecting any war-of-words or renewal of rivalries, will be left disappointed.

Brown, a Celtic hero having captained them to numerous league titles and other honours, was a major rival of Rovers boss Barton, during their time in Scotland. Barton was a rival, having played for Rangers, the firm Glasgow rivals of Celtic.

The pair only shared the same pitch once and it was Brown who came out the happier of the two with a 5-1 win for Celtic. Pre-match, Barton said to talkSPORT that Brown wasn’t in his league, but ended up being on the losing side.

Six years on, the two will now face each other at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, November 12, the last match before the World Cup starts. Brown has admitted that ahead of the match, he holds a respect for his opposite number.

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“You play those mind games and can do whatever you want as players,” he said to the Daily Record. “But, as manager, it’s completely different now. You’ve got to have respect for your opponents and respect for your fellow managers.

“There won’t be any pre-match wind-ups whatsoever – from me anyway. We’ll be fine. "It’s about our teams doing the talking on the park.

“It’s a huge game – going away to Bristol will be tough, they’ve had some good recent results. We’ll look forward to that one but it’s not all about me, it’s about my players and I’ve got to help them be at their best.”

Next Saturday’s clash with Fleetwood will be the first time that he will have faced his former club. Barton was in the same position as Brown in that Fleetwood was his first managerial opportunity.

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The 40-year-old spent two-and-a-half seasons with Fleetwood and led them to the play-offs. Current Rovers quartet Glenn Whelan, Paul Coutts, Lewis Gibson and Harvey Saunders were all at the club at the time.

Four managers have taken charge since Barton’s appointment and the one of Brown, but the Celtic hero was keen to praise the job he did at Highbury Stadium.

“Joey has done a great job,” said Brown. “He was a fantastic manager here at Fleetwood as well. He’s doing it now at Bristol Rovers.”

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