Joey Barton: Former Fleetwood Town manager set to take over at Bristol Rovers

Joey Barton is set to take over as the new manager of Bristol Rovers.

The West Country club sacked previous manager Paul Tisdale on February 10 after less than three months in the role, with director of football Tommy Widdrington taking temporary charge of first-team affairs.

Widdrington helped them end an eight-game winless run in his first match, but a loss to Gillingham on Saturday leaves Rovers 19th in League One, just two points above the relegation zone.

The Pirates have scored just 27 goals in 28 games, tied for the second-lowest goal tally in the division.

Former Newcastle, Manchester City and QPR midfielder Barton went into management with Fleetwood in 2018, but they parted company with the 38-year-old in January this year.

Fleetwood reached the League One play-offs under Barton in the 2019/20 season – where they lost to Wycombe in the semi-finals – and he had them at 10th earlier this year but left after a poor run of form that saw them win one of his final eight games.

His former Fleetwood coaching staff, including Clint Hill and Andy Mangan, were relieved of their duties then, and are expected to join him at Rovers.

Barton could be appointed before Rovers’ match against Wigan on Tuesday.

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