Barton hails QPR unity after fightback at Reading
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Joey Barton dedicated his equaliser against Reading to stricken team-mate Alejandro Faurlin, and paid tribute to QPR’s resilience as they came from behind at the Madejski Stadium.
Barton struck with 12 minutes left to cancel out Garath McCleary’s opener for Reading, and celebrated by holding aloft a shirt bearing the name of injured midfielder Faurlin.
Faurlin faces up to nine months out with a knee injury, and Barton revealed he and his team-mates took the decision earlier in the week to show their support for the 27-year-old.
“We are all gutted for Ale. He’s a great guy and a great player,” said Barton. “He had just got himself back into the team and was playing really well.
“He was magnificent against Wigan and fantastic against Derby until he got injured. He’s a strong character and there’s no doubt that Ale will be back. It was just to let him know that we are all thinking of him.”
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QPR had to dig deep once McCleary had given Reading a second-half lead, with Barton’s late strike just reward for a battling performance that could easily have yielded all three points.
And Barton believes that the manner of Rangers’ display proves that the problems of last season are now firmly behind them.
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He added: “After the last international break we knew we had some tough games. We had to go to Millwall, we had to come here to Reading, as well as Wigan and Burnley.
“We managed to get through them with only one defeat. The attitude and the commitment levels since the defeat to Burnley has been a lot, lot better.
“It’s a squad effort. This club has probably been guilty before of relying on certain individuals. But it is a real team effort and I think you can see that in the performances.
“There is a long way to go, but it’s a decent start, and we feel that we have yet to fire on all cylinders. But we have been solid and that’s important if you want to do well in this league.”