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“I absolutely don’t like these guys” – Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton launches attack on Exeter

Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton launches an attack on Exeter City and reveals some of the things he shouldn’t have said in previous meetings.

The outspoken manager has claimed he doesn’t like what the Grecians are about made made it clear he had no time for their coach Matt Taylor and his staff members.

While there was some criticism aimed at them in his pre-match press conference, he did however praise Exeter when it came to how they set-up and started to the 2022/23 campaign.

Last season, Exeter won 4-1 and 5-3 before picking up a 1-1 draw in Bristol, many will recall his infamous comment that Rovers would, “definitely get promoted”. A line he was ridiculed for at the time but ultimately went and succeeded when they went up on the final day of the 2021/22 season.

Discussing what took place 13 months ago, as the Grecians raced into a 4-0 first-half lead, Barton said to Bristol Live: “They were beating us 4-0 after 20 minutes and then 5-0 at half-time. I don’t like losing games, I didn’t like that feeling so there were words exchanged. I think I told them I would buy Exeter and remove them from their job, which probably was not the best thing to say, but as it’s a fan-owned club and I’m a relatively wealthy individual, I think that got their goat up and they stuffed us twice.

“You don’t have to like everybody in football. As I say, I absolutely don’t like these guys, but I respect them and the job they’ve done. I felt they should’ve won the league last year and they’ll be kicking themselves they never won the league because Forest Green were gone, in my opinion. I thought they were there to be taken and Exeter had the momentum with the way they finished.

“Matt and the lads are a well-organised, well-drilled team. A seven-man squeeze coming down and leaving the three lads at home, it’s really brave what they do and it’s effective. I personally would have loved to play against these types of teams because their strengths can be used against them as a weakness. We’re going to the lion’s den on Saturday and their fans will be baying for blood.

“They will be wanting to try to heap more pressure on us because we personally don’t like each other and I look forward to the challenge. It’s great, I can’t wait to get in the stadium on Saturday.

“I still think we’ve got more than enough to beat Exeter in their stadium on Saturday. I don’t particularly like what they’re about, I’ve not got a lot of time for them and I don’t think they’ve got a lot of time for us based on the exchanges we had last year, but we know they’re a good side and we have to respect them.”

It’s been a tough start for Rovers, sitting 21st in the League One table with eight points and haven’t won in the league for any their last seven games. Opponents Exeter are the best-performing out of all the promoted teams with six points more than Rovers going into this weekend and 11 places higher in the division.

“You can imagine Exeter is not the most desirable location for a young footballer because it’s the a*** end of the country,” Barton added. “It’s miles away from everywhere, so logistically to do what they do and consistently produce their own players into the team and a revenue stream, I think a lot of clubs should look at Exeter and see it as a well-run business model.

“As I say, I have absolute respect for them. The reality is, if I was a Gashead I’d be going ‘How are Exeter doing what they’re doing and how are Bristol Rovers doing what they’re doing?’ It just comes down to a good strategic plan from a football club that has to be self-sustainable because of the limitations on it in terms of the population close to it and also the logistical problems there can be.

“But places like Accrington, Fleetwood and Exeter, when you end up there as a player, you realise you’re at skid row. Nobody really wants to be there and everybody wants to get out and get to a big city club. Bristol Rovers are a big city club, but we haven’t had a big city footprint, certainly in the blue half.

“You get to these players as a player and you go ‘Oh god, I don’t want to be here. I need to knuckle down and get myself going in the right direction’ and get to these more desirable locations where you’re not living in the sticks, pretty much.”

Matt Taylor gave his thoughts ahead of City’s fixture with Bristol Rovers this Saturday.

Having watched Rovers’ fixture last weekend, rushing off from City’s 4-0 win at Forest Green, Taylor assessed the threat the opponents face.

“The scoreline was only 1-0 but it was a very open game. We had fantastic seats really high up to get the full picture,” Matt said.

“They’ve got a really strong squad just like last season. They score a lot of goals but don’t keep a lot of clean sheets so will be looking for a lot of consistency.

“We will be looking for a positive outcome this weekend.”

This is what fans said as Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton launches an attack on Exeter…

@theStuVoo: Another opposition team talk done for them 🤦🏻‍♂️

@CraigRussell80: He does like to remind us he’s a ‘wealthy individual’

@WILLBRFC: Kin el 😂😂😂

@popsgas: I wish he would concentrate on his team instead of slagging other teams and managers off 🤷🏼‍♂️

@harleyhatcher5: 3-0 loss incoming

@SouthStand7: Maybe win the game first. Then have a sly dig if you feel the need?

@Texy78Butler: People need to chill out what’s wrong with stoking the fire a bit 🤷🏼‍♂️ get the rivalries going I say other managers do it all the time!

@ColinGould2: Needs to focus on getting his own team wound up and going, not everyone else’s!

@thegas90: Why does he Piss everyone off ?

@Banquetinnbar: Must be one of a very few who are not residents of Plymouth who actually hates ECFC Exeter must b one of the most popular clubs in the country with other fans #modalclub #academy #greatfans

@SimonDGould: Disrespectful of Matt Taylor (& many other Managers) who gets more from limited players that Barton does! In fact I wish Taylor was our manager! I just wish he’d shut up and stop making life more difficult for our team than it already is!

@BrayerBS30: I feel the same about Joey to be honest

@RaineyMartin: Ffs! He just gets worse doesn’t he.

@alfieash01: Is he still salty about getting his ass handed to him twice last season ?

@EC1901_: Hahahaha what a helmet

@egerrans: I actually didn’t think it was possible for me to like Barton less but yet here we are

@Jackobrfc999: Why does he continue to throw shade at clubs and managers far better than us and him 😂 makes the club look stupid

@tomisnotaking: Let it get spicy you fuckers. What’s wrong with you all? #ecfc

@NickHamlyn76: Looks like Joey Barton has done Matt Taylor’s team talk for him… #ECFC

@kieranda04: Just like Devon your city is red

@joshuagglenn: Someone needs to just nail this c*nt he’s a wrungun

@ecfc32: Jesus Christ 😂 I suppose they can act the billy big bollocks being 21st in the table. P.S. Your city is red. #ecfc #brfc

@graeme_marshall: Desperate stuff. Not sure what he’s trying to achieve here, just chats complete bollocks

@Joey__19: Rent free x

@STB_93: This is absolutely incredible. The bloke is off his rocker 🤣

@tom_bondy: Bloke is an embarrassment 🔔

@neilgraydon83: Get at em @Joey7Barton my gaffer 😍👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

@lwindsor17: No team talk needed tomorrow just show them this #ecfc

@matthew_land: Them bastards reds in Joey Barton’s head, Rent free 🤯 #ECFC

@sihawk89: To be fair to Joey #ecfc are always shit against relegation fodder teams at SJP so he had a chance of a result but thanks for the easy team talk for MT. Can’t wait to see Nombe & Jev rip your defence to shreds!

@TDoe42_: He’s right about one thing though, if he had a pound for every bad take in this interview, he would be a wealthy enough individual to buy the club. Maybe stick to saying ‘no comment’ and paying your court fees Joey xx

@cornwallmorris: In amongst all the hot air he makes a lot of valid points and breaks down our tactics perfectly. #ecfc

@d0ns_: That is one of the cringiest interviews I’ve ever read. He’s on a different planet 🤣

@GeorgeButler__: He don’t help himself does he… just shut up and focus on us and not getting battered

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