Barton battles through the pain barrier to help Clarets record derby day victory

Man of the match Joey Barton had to battle through the pain barrier to help Burnley record their first derby double against Rovers in 37 years.

Saturday, 5th March 2016, 4:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th March 2016, 4:21 pm
Joey Barton celebrates with goalscorer Andre Gray

The former Manchester City midfielder was struggling with a groin strain ahead of the Championship clash at Turf Moor having sustained the injury in training last week.

The 33-year-old met with boss Sean Dyche ahead of the fixture to discuss his fitness but Barton went on to see out the 90 minutes in the 1-0 triumph.

After Andre Gray's penalty took the Clarets back to the summit of the division, Barton said: "I was just happy to have played in it. I felt my groin on Thursday, it didn't really help with the snow yesterday because we couldn't get out to do anything and then I felt it in the warm up.

"I had to come in early to speak to the gaffer because I was really struggling and we were 50/50 whether I was going to chance it. We just got on with it even though it felt like I was playing on one leg at times.

"I couldn't wrap my foot around the ball or kick through it. It wasn't ideal to play with the handbrake on. I was able to get around the park, I just had to bite the bullet and get through it. My team-mates helped massively and adjusted accordingly around me. That's the beauty of us as a team.

"I knew I had to be out there for my team-mates so I grinded away. Then Jonah, weirdly because it's not like him, asked to come off. He felt his achilles I think but he couldn't continue. At that point I thought I definitely can't go off now!"

Barton added: "I thought our discipline and organisation was great and Tom Heaton has made two world class saves. For me he was the difference. He hasn't had an awful lot to do recently but today he was called on and showed his quality.

"It was a tough afternoon, exactly what we thought it would be. Blackburn have improved under Paul Lambert and they made it a difficult occasion for us. It's another absolutely vital three points towards what we want to achieve this season. We defended our box heroically.

"It was a siege mentally from us at times knowing that we were in front. We just had to battle. We're difficult to break down, we're difficult to beat at Turf Moor. That's the reason we're sat top of the table."