No split loyalties for Joey

Former Clarets midfielder Joey Barton could be forgiven for having torn loyalties when Everton pay a visit to Turf Moor tomorrow in the Premier League.
Joey BartonJoey Barton
Joey Barton

But Burnley’s Player of the Year for the 2015/16 campaign, who was also recognised in the PFA Team of the Year as the club won the Championship title, says that both feet are firmly in the Clarets camp.

The midfielder, speaking exclusively ahead of his “No Nonsense” appearance at Colne Municipal Hall midweek, grew up watching the Toffees from the terraces.

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However, his heart lies with Sean Dyche’s side. Barton, who made 61 appearances for the club in all competitions, said: “I’m all in Burnley’s camp even though I grew up as an Evertonian on the terraces.

“When you’ve got an affiliation with a group of players, a club and coaching staff like I have, you have one part of your heart strings wanting your boyhood club to get a result and then the brain kicks in and you want the people that you’ve worked with and care about to get to that 40-point mark.

“For them to do that now would give them that little bit of breathing space to kick on and hopefully finish the season quite strongly.

“I think Burnley will win the game. I think they’ve been unlucky and they were very unfortunate against Southampton.

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“They’ve been on a tricky run recently but at some point that will have to turn.

“I was at the in-house reserve game midweek and I expect Burnley to finish the season strongly because they’ve got so many good players coming back from injury. It’s huge.

“They are starting to get bodies back now so I think there are really positive signs.”