Barton bringing out best in QPR
Warnock hails immediate impact of controversial midfielder
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: 23/09/11 12:41pm
QPR boss Neil Warnock believes Joey Barton is already bringing the best out of his new team-mates.
Warnock managed to lure the midfielder to Loftus Road last month after he was made available on a free transfer by Newcastle.
The 29-year-old was handed the captain's armband for his debut, which happened to be against his former club, and the one-cap England international impressed as QPR had the better of a 0-0 draw.
Barton then scored the opener in last Saturday's 3-0 win at Wolves and Warnock is delighted with the impact he has had in the Hoops' dressing room.
"He's brought the quality I think we were missing really, and that's the hunger, in a different way," he told Sky Sports News.
"He's got the experience but he's still got so much to prove, as have all the new lads.
"It's really pleasing for me to look at everyone that's come in and know they've all got something to prove, and I think players play better when they have got something to prove.
"Joey's no different to anybody else, he's just got the high profile with the way he is, and his past obviously follows him around.
"But from our point of view, all I was worried about was bringing him in and changing a Championship team to a Premiership team.
"You look at people like Paddy Kenny, Shaun Derry and Ally Faurlin, and I think they've all lifted their own games.
"Whether you like it or not, he (Barton) has that influence around the place that if you're not a winner, you're not going to be around very long. He makes people realise that.
"Adel Taarabt as well, he's responded really well to Joey.
"I thought they might clash - I'm sure they will do at some stage - but he's done the opposite.
"He's delighted to get somebody like that playing with him."
Barton will hope to lead Rangers to back-to-back wins as they host Aston Villa on Sunday, live on Sky Sports HD1.