Joey Barton’s damning assessment of Crystal Palace after Bristol Rovers win

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The 40-year-old gave his thoughts on the Eagles after masterminding a 2-0 win over them at the Mem

Joey Barton says he wouldn’t take any of Crystal Palace’s young players after his Bristol Rovers side beat them 2-0 in the EFL Trophy.

Alfie Kilgour scored with a stoppage-time header before Trevor Clarke wrapped things up in the second half against the Eagles’ Under-21 side.

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The Gas stand a chance of progression having moved up to second and will take on Swindon Town in a fortnight knowing a win could secure their passage to the next round.

Despite tonight’s win, however, there was an element of frustration from the Rovers manager about how he viewed the opposition.

Three of their players were shown yellow cards, including a foul from Kofi Balmer, which later led to a scuffle that resulted in Glen Whelan being dismissed.

“It’s disappointing because we’ve lost a man in that kind of melee,” Barton said to BBC Radio Bristol. I thought they were what is the problem in the modern game. An academy side that are miles away from producing people that can play in the league, they are so far away let’s be honest.

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It makes a mockery of what that Premier League 2 is. You hear me talk about big clubs stockpiling players, we wouldn’t take any of their players. We wouldn’t, they are so far away.

“It’s an opportunity for us to have a look at that because we like to utilise the loan market. It’s easy for them because their games don’t matter.

“Their games are irrelevant, nobody cares about them. We’ve got a proper game on Saturday, mortgages are on the line. Real men’s football.”

As well as the victory, another positive to come from the match was the return of several players, who had recovered from respective injuries.

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Josh Coburn was introduced at half-time for his debut, a month after joining from Middlesbrough on Deadline Day. On-loan Everton defender Lewis Gibson appeared, as well as permanent signing James Gibbons, making what was his third appearance.

He said: "I thought they were fine, we got the minutes into them that we wanted. I could have done that on the training ground today in a 11v11 on a Tuesday. I don’t need to play a glorified youth team to do that.

"It’s a lot safer if we do it on our training ground and I can get forty-fifty minutes into the lads without absolutely no issue of them getting injured or suspended by a youth team."

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