Joey Barton shoulders the blame after Bristol Rovers concede six at home to Lincoln City

The 40-year-old was willing to accept responsibility after not playing a recognised centre-back

Joey Barton says he takes responsibility for Bristol Rovers latest defeat as they shipped six goals in their loss to Lincoln City.

The Gas conceded three goals in either half after trailing the Imps 3-1 at half-time, but fell further behind after the break which prompted some fans to head for the exits before the hour mark.

Jack Diamond’s stoppage-time goal added to Ben House’s opener and his first effort after Aaron Collins had made it a competitive score line in a half which they had plenty of chances.

Matty Virtue inflicted further damage before Diamond claimed the match-ball for what became a four-goal margin. Ryan Loft pulled a goal back but House inflicted further damage but Collins was able to add his second of the match.

An attack minded side was named before kick-off with Rovers’ only recognised centre-back Alfie Kilgour named on the bench and that is a decision that Barton lives by.

He said: ”It was tough and tricky to take. We’ve lost three points, I’m proud of the players I really am. They kept getting on the ball, making opportunities and were brave.

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“I’ll take responsibility for the team shape and the fact we were so poor for trying to play a really aggressive system. Taking the game to them didn’t go to plan today.”

Rovers had trailed by two goals at the break and remained vulnerable on the counter-attack to Lincoln’s attack with the visitors getting the stroke of luck for second balls and deflection.

Barton however defended his decision to keep his side hungry in attack, which resulted in two further goals in the second period, but saw them compete with Mark Kennedy’s side for the remainder of the match.

He persisted with the team shape with Kilgour not making an appearance, despite Rovers’ lack of defensive options and made attack minded changes such as bringing on Harvey Saunders, John Marquis and Sylvester Jasper.

He said: “Loads of managers would have shut up shop and maybe in my time as I get a bit more experience that is what I will do. I’ll batten down the hatches and be happy to lose the game 3-1.

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“I don’t think it’s my nature, my nature is to keep going forward and being aggressive. Sometimes that pays off and you beat Scunthorpe 7-0 and other days you lose 6-3 to Lincoln.

“In my world it’s three points lost and that is all that it is. We must take great heart from the character of our team.”

Rovers have now conceded the second most goals in League One with 19 goals shipped in their nine matches with only bottom team Burton Albion the only team have conceded more.