Bristol Rovers: Joey Barton says his side are facing relegation 'with a whimper'

Joey Barton
Bristol Rovers have won three and lost 10 of Joey Barton's 15 games in charge

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton says some of his side should be embarrassed after being all but relegated from League One "with a whimper".

Tuesday's 2-0 home loss to Milton Keynes Dons left Rovers nine points from safety with three games to play, and with an inferior goal difference.

Rovers have won only one of their past 10 games and are bottom of the table.

"There's no way I'd have allowed that group to be built, it just wouldn't have happened," said Barton.

Former Fleetwood boss Barton, who was appointed in February, is Rovers' third manager this season and has been critical of the way his predecessors Paul Tisdale and Ben Garner had gone about their work.

The former Manchester City, QPR and England midfielder, is likely to have a first relegation on his managerial record - Rovers' only hope of survival is if fifth-from-bottom Wigan lose all three of their remaining games while his side take maximum points.

Even then, they will need the other three sides in the relegation places - Northampton, Rochdale and Swindon - to also drop points.

Barton has promised big changes over the summer if he is to lead the club into next season.

"I think a few of the players should be embarrassed that we've gone down with a whimper," he told BBC Radio Bristol.

"It's tough from a distance. You think 'OK, if we get in and we get the processes right and we come in, albeit a side that's struggling, we can turn it around' and then you get in and you peel the layers of the onion and you realise 'God, what have we got ourselves into?'.

"We've got some hard work to do this summer, but I have said all the time that my commitment to these fans will be that there'll be a team that turns up from the first day of next season that they will be able to get behind and be proud.

"How many of those in that dressing room will be in this building I'm not sure, but I reckon it'll be single figures, not double figures.

"There are a few of them in there who are fortunate to be professional footballers. In 12 months time I think there will be a few of them who'll be very, very fortunate to still be in the professional game."

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