Joey Barton makes promotion admission about Derby and Sheffield Wednesday

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Bristol Rovers faced two promotion-chasing sides in League One, and matched them.

The Bristol Rovers manager watched on as his side were beaten 2-1 after two first half goals from Barry Bannan and Akin Famewo put the away side on the way to three points.

Despite a goal inside the first minute of the second half restart, and having just under 70% of the possession, Wednesday held on and grabbed all three points to aid their hunt for automatic promotion.

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Barton however, was less than complementary about Wednesday’s play style: “I say with the greatest respect to them, they’re not easy on the eye,” he said.

“They had 180 passes or that tonight. I know they’ve beaten us but you play that type of football, that ain’t going to keep you in the Championship.”

Darren Moore’s side currently sit in third in the League One standings, outside of the automatic promotion places by a point - having played a game more than Plymouth and Ipswich.

“They’ve got big resources and a big resource pool. I said to the lads in there, that is the promotion bar. It’s kind of where we need to be if we want to be successful in our challenge next season.”

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“I don’t worry about us building a team capable of challenging if that is the benchmark. 12, 14 or 15 million pound budgets our last two opponents. The standard at this level is certainly attainable for us if we find a bit more maturity in our performance and we get consistency.”

It was two avoidable goals conceded from the Gas, Grant Ward had his pocket picked on the edge of his own box by Lee Gregory, who then teed up Bannan who fired past James Belshaw, then Rovers failed to clear a corner leading to Famewo poking home from close range.

“It all comes from lads accumulating minutes from experience and we’ve got to keep building on the solid foundations from our perspective of a successful season.”

“Getting in the division was key, but consolidating it and staying in it which the lads have done with games to spare. Now we get a taste of the top end of the division and there is nothing to fear if Derby and Sheffield Wednesday are anything to go by.”

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