Joey Barton winds up Sunderland fans ahead of Saturday’s game at the Stadium of Light

Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, ex-NUFC midfielder Joey Barton believes Fleetwood Town’s team is better than Sunderland’s ‘man for man’.

Barton has praised new Sunderland boss Jack Ross, saying it’s not easy to ‘turn around a club which has a habit of losing’, but he doesn’t see it as the David versus Goliath clash it’s been built up to be – instead believing his Fleetwood side are better.

Given his Newcastle links and his involvement in one or two tasty Tyne and Wear derby’s (including that famous 5-1 hammering), Barton can expect some rough treatment from the Sunderland fans on Saturday – something he’ll probably revel in!

Here’s what he’s had to say ahead of the game:

“For me, this is just another game. I’ve been there as a player and played derbies at Sunderland . It’s the same as playing another big club like we did against Bradford.

“On the pitch is where it matters, and I don’t see a David versus Goliath. If anything, I see us just better than them, man for man.

“Credit to Jack Ross , he’s got the fans coming back to the stadium and the team winning games. It’s not easy to turn around a club which has a habit of losing.

“It’s just another game for us. I think Sunderland have more to lose in front of their home fans than we do.”

It’s the dreaded international break, meaning no Premier League football for us to take in this weekend, but if there’s one game worth keeping an eye on, it’s this one!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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