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JOEY BARTON: GAFFER GOT IT RIGHT

JOEY Barton paid tribute to R’s boss Harry Redknapp for a tactical change which shifted the balance in the Hoops favour against Wigan Athletic on Monday night.


Trailing 1-0 and with Wigan on top in the opening exchanges, Redknapp switched from a 4-4-1-1 formation to a 4-4-2 and with it Rangers got to grips with the Latics, eventually going on to equalise and then clinch a place at Wembley thanks to Charlie Austin’s double.


Barton, who led from start to finish in the heart of the R’s midfield engine-room, told www.qpr.co.uk: "Fair play to the gaffer on the night.


"They had a diamond in midfield which caused us a lot of problems early on, but he changed it by pushing Doyley up top with Chas and dropping Niko back in, and it worked.


"We had a lot of pointers during the week about how hard it was going to be.


"We knew it wasn't going to be easy - credit to Wigan, they're a very good side, who have caused the biggest clubs in this country problems this season.


"Uwe (Rosler) has done a fantastic job there and on night's like Monday it's hard that there has to be a loser, but thankfully it wasn't us!


"We roll on, we've dug deep and over the two legs we slightly shaded it and deserved the victory.”



Rangers will now face Derby County in the Championship play-off final on Saturday 24th May and Barton is in buoyant mood.


"I don't think there is a weight of expectancy on us,” he said.


"This season was always going to be a transitional one after a disastrous campaign for us in the Premier League.


"It was a case of getting rid of one or two and building a squad of men who wanted to play for this club and be in it together.


"We've formed a band of brothers here now.


"It's been a process, a tough one at times, but fair play to everyone connected to the club.


"We've got a Wembley final to look forward to now.


"We've got quality in this squad and when you've got someone like Chas who can come up with goals then you've always got a chance.”