Joey Barton: Harry Redknapp wants midfielder to stay at QPR

Joey Barton

QPR manager Harry Redknapp wants to keep Joey Barton at the club and has praised the midfielder's attitude.

The 30-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Marseille, played 79 minutes in QPR's 2-1 Championship victory against Sheffield Wednesday.

"He did great at Marseille. They qualified for the Champions League and they would like to take him back," Redknapp told BBC Radio 5 live.

"If he stays here, fantastic. He's not been a minute's problem for me."

Redknapp added: "I had never worked with him before, but he has come in and trained hard every day and showed a lot of quality in training.

"He was very good and his attitude and will to win was first class."

Although Redknapp was happy with Barton's contribution, the former England international could have been shown a red card for appearing to foul Owls winger Jacques Maghoma after already being booked.

Barton's last game for QPR had been back in May 2012 when he was sent off against Manchester City.

After his season-long loan at Marseille finished, Barton tweeted: "I will not be playing in the Championship next season."

However, after his latest game he said: "Didn't expect, nor do I deserve, that reception from the QPR fans today. Many thanks... #humbled."

Barton has been linked with a return to France or a move to Premier League side Everton, although Redknapp does not expect Barton, who grew up in Merseyside, to return to his hometown.

"Marseille is the option," said Redknapp. "Everton is not an option, I don't know where that one came from, but it was a silly story.

Redknapp and Barton
Harry Redknapp congratulates Joey Barton

"If he goes, I wish him well. He is a good player and I think I can handle him. If you are sensible with him and treat him OK he is not a minute's problem."

Although happy with Barton's attitude, Redknapp is unhappy with a number of players who do not want to stay with QPR following their relegation from the Premier League.

"This is the toughest job in football and I've never been at a club where so many people are difficult," added Redknapp.

"There are five or six lads here who want to leave and their attitude says that every day.

"But it's difficult to shift people. You need good lads with a good attitude. If you get four or five people that don't want to be there they will drag the others down."