‘Hindered us’ - Joey Barton delivers this verdict on Bristol Rovers draw at Bolton

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The 40-year-old gives his take on Bristol Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers

Joey Barton believes Bristol Rovers are better than their performance in the 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers. The Gas had to settle for a point after Dion Charles scored in stoppage-time after waves of attacks.

Josh Coburn put Rovers in front inside 70 seconds in a dream start after last week’s FA Cup disappointment. Rovers however had to defend their lead for almost the entirety of the match and let slip inside the fourth minute of additional time.

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Bolton - fifth before a ball was kicked - were 10 places higher than Rovers before kick-off. The visit to the University of Bolton Stadium was viewed as a game that would give Barton an indication as to where his side are at the moment.

“I don’t think we have played particularly well,” he said in his assessment to BBC Radio Bristol. “We’ve had spells in there but we’re disappointed with our level of performance today.

“Yes we defended superbly at times and we are disciplined in that regard. We can play so much more football. We were no where near the level of football team we can be today.

“If you don’t operate at your highest performance levels when you come here, you can’t expect to win the game. I’m disappointed but another point gained, we learn our lesson and move our club forward.”

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Rovers’ at times this season have had to wait their time to open the scoring first in matches. A goal just after a minute on the clock was what was needed after losing to non-league Boreham Wood five days ago.

On-loan Middlesbrough striker Josh Coburn found the net for the fifth time this campaign in a well-worked goal. Antony Evans worked the ball down the line and put the ball in to a position for Coburn to prod home from close-range.

Despite the positivity of scoring first, Barton admitted that the time of the goal changed the complexion of the match. Bolton Wanderers chased an equalising goal and were dominant throughout the match.

The hosts boasted 19 shots with five on target and had 55% possession compared to Rovers, who’s only shot on target was their goal. They had one more attempt that was wayward and had to settle for taking a defensive approach for the majority of the match.

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Barton said: “It’s a fantastic goal and the big man gets in there. I thought he was outstanding again young Josh. It was a real good team goal, it sets us off and gets the disappointment out of the way.

“We’re off to a flyer, it probably hindered us. It sounds mad to say that but we were hanging on to that and we thought one was enough.

“We challenged the lads at half-time to keep probing. I thought we were way below-par in lots of departments in the second-half, certainly when it come to quality on the ball. We will be and must be better.”

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