Joey Barton makes ‘cheating’ claim after sending off during Ipswich Town vs Bristol Rovers

Joey Barton believes his men may need to get a little more street-smart after their defeat to Ipswich Town.

Joey Barton says Bristol Rovers may need to buy into a more savvy mindset amid Tuesday night’s defeat to Ipswich Town.

Rovers are now five League One outings without a win after suffering a 2-0 defeat at Portman Road on Tuesday.

Conor Chaplin and Lee Evans were on target as Ipswich remained at the top of the League One table, level on points with Portsmouth.

Much of the damage was already done by the time Rovers suffered their first sending off of the evening.

Bobby Thomas was sent on his way the 85th minute, and seven minutes later, Alfie Kilgour was sent on his way.

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It means the impact of the defeat will be significantly greater due to the two suspensions that will follow.

And the second, in particular, annoyed Rovers boss Barton, who felt there was play-acting involved.

Asked about the incident, Barton responded with a chuckle, suggesting Rovers should follow Ipswich’s lead.

“He (Chaplin) just threw himself onto the floor,” he said. “Maybe we need to get a bit cuter and utilise the opportunity to take the opponent down to 10 men… I’m not one to advocate diving and cheating but at this level you benefit from it.”

Speaking about the defeat more generally, Barton added: “I thought they (Ipswich) started really brightly. We kind of weathered the early part of the storm and they scored just as we were getting over it.

“I felt we settled into the game after the first goal and we obviously had a couple of half chances on the counter attack.

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“You need a little bit of luck. (Antony) Evans’ was a fantastic effort. We hit the angle of the crossbar and the post and it comes back out. Trevor Clarke gets there, it’s a good shot and zips up and Walton makes a good save.

Barton believes Ipswich were clever in hitting the floor

“They go up the other end and score from a deflection and that effectively was game over.”

Rovers are now left in 18th position after their disappointing run of form.

They are just one point above the relegation zone as things stand, though we are very early in the season.

The Pirates are next in action when they face Lincoln City at home on Saturday afternoon.

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That outing will be the final outing before the international break, and Rovers will want to go into that break on a positive note.