Barton must stay at QPR, believes team-mate Simpson
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Danny Simpson believes QPR should do all they can to keep Joey Barton, and says the midfielder can inspire Rangers’ push for promotion to the Premier League.
Barton has played in all five of QPR’s games in league and cup this season, despite being widely expected to leave the club after a controversial two-year spell at Loftus Road.
The 30-year-old spent last season on loan with Ligue 1 side Marseille, and had hoped to rejoin the French side during the summer, but no such move has materialised.
He has responded with some impressively diligent displays both on the right wing and in central midfield, and right-back Simpson, who played alongside Barton in Newcastle United’s promotion-winning 2009-10 campaign, says he can be a key player.
“We were saying in the dressing room [after QPR’s 1-0 win at Bolton on Saturday] that this is what it was like at Newcastle,” said Simpson. “The team were together, we all knew what to do. We dug in and worked hard.
“Whatever people say about Joey, on the pitch he will give you 110 per cent. He was tackling, winning headers and when he’s on the ball he can create things.
“I have been in this situation with him before, we both know what we did then and we know what we need to do now.”
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Newcastle won six of their first seven matches on their way to promotion three years ago, and Simpson says QPR are showing similar determination this season.
The Rs have taken three victories from their opening four games – drawing the other at Huddersfield – and have now kept two consecutive clean sheets.
Simpson added: “It has started the same way it did at Newcastle. At the start of the season everyone is still trying to find their feet, but once the window closes we will know the squad that we have and we will be able to get on the ball and grind out results.
“At the moment we are doing the ugly side really well, which is massive because we know that when we do that we will be able to create as well.
“It is important that we are hard to beat, and not just as a back four or five but as a team. I think we have been starting to show that over the last couple of weeks. We’re looking solid at the back and we have players who are going to score us goals.
“In any team it is important that you work as a unit together and you build up relationships and partnerships. Over the last couple of weeks we have been starting to do that. It is looking good for the rest of the season.”