Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton has dubbed his side the worst team in the Premier League, but believes that team spirit can help them avoid relegation, Sky Sports has reported.
The R’s are second from bottom going into Saturday’s crucial home clash with West Ham United, with the need for a positive result appearing even greater due to the meeting between the two other sides in the bottom three at Turf Moor, where Burnley face Leicester City.
Despite a run of just two wins in 16 Premier League outings and six consecutive home defeats, performances have improved in recent weeks with seven goals scored in taking four points from two away matches, while they conceded late on to lose 1-0 to leaders Chelsea; a harsh result given the balance of play.
And Barton is not surprised that the club has spent much of the season at the wrong end of the league, but is hopeful that they can take enough points from their remaining five games to haul themselves to safety. “On paper we are the worst team in the league – nothing changes that,” he said.
“We came up via the play-offs in the Championship, we finished fourth, we stuttered to fourth in that campaign, we rode our luck at times and it was character and the spirit within the group that got us through. Not talent, not skill or an abundance of attacking intent, it was grit and character that got us in the Premier League and it is going to be grit and character that keeps us in the Premier League.
“It is our responsibility to keep this club in the league by hook or by crook. We’ve got 26 points, five games to go, I still feel our destiny is in our own hands. If we win enough games to deserve to stay in the Premier League then we will stay up, if we don’t then we will go down. This league doesn’t feel sorry for anyone.”
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