Joey Barton confirms key Bristol Rovers addition of former Sheff Utd man

Paul Coutts followed Joey Barton after leaving Fleetwood Town. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Paul Coutts followed Joey Barton after leaving Fleetwood Town. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Paul Coutts followed Joey Barton after leaving Fleetwood Town. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Bristol Rovers coaching staff is growing after Joey Barton made another addition.

Joey Barton has hinted that Paul Coutts will get a role amongst the coaching staff at Bristol Rovers.

Coutts is out-of-contract at the end of the season, and is expected to retire like Glenn Whelan. The 34-year-old suffered a knee injury that curtailed his campaign and over the last months has been working as a coach.

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The former Sheffield United midfielder had been appointed club captain but injuries have limited him to 22 appearances this past season. His presence has been valuable to the younger players who can learn from someone who has played more than 250 times in League One.

Despite the risk of crowding his coaching staff, and having another voice to challenge him and perhaps replace him, there was no qualms in appointing the former Blades man. He is already assisted by Andy Mangan, as well as Denny Ventre, but will now have another permanent figure alongside him.

He said: “We’ve been giving Couttsy a bit of work experience because his knees have finally caught up with him.

“I do believe in people who have done well for you in giving them an opportunity.

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“The footballing landscape is quite peculiar in terms of people won’t give Glenn and Couttsy jobs because they’re petrified they will take my job, I get that.”

Coutts and Whelan both linked up with Barton at Fleetwood before following him to removers. Whelan revealed he joined Barton in Bristol because of the promise of the chance to be able to begin his transition into a coach.

Whelan is a long-term friend of Barton, having played together during their spell at Manchester City’s youth teams. The experienced pair have proven to be influential figures in the dressing room, and as a reward have both been afforded an opportunity following the end of their playing career.

Barton added: “For me, them lads have been incredible servants. They’ve done really good things every single day for us. If we want to get in that space I see it as that it’s important for me as a leader to create opportunities if we have to.”

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“It’s not a charity and they won’t just get a position because they’ve retired. They’ve had to show really good stuff in our building.

“As a route map going forward if you’re a player who does really really well I’ll help you for the rest of your life.

“Developing and delivering loyalty is something often missed in the pursuit of excellence in professional football.”

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