Barton affected by fans' criticism
QPR captain Joey Barton has called on his own fans to stop booing him.
Barton has struggled for form recently and was booed off the pitch while being substituted during Rangers' win over Liverpool 10 days ago. The controversial midfielder admits he was hurt by the booing and feels it was a counter-productive move given that his team are seriously in danger of relegation from the Barclays Premier League.
Ahead of Rangers' game against Arsenal on Saturday, the club skipper wrote in the match-day programme: "I don't feel at one with all of the fans at the moment. I know it's only a small minority, but it does get you down as a player - because you want the supporters to be with you, through the good times and the bad times."
He added: "It's vitally important that the people you work with - as well as the people you work for - appreciate you and believe in you.
"If the people you work for show you instantly that they don't like you or are quick to criticise you, it can be a very stifling environment, and I think that's happening to one or two of us this season.
"I see myself as a strong character. I've had to put up with lots of stuff in my life. But not having your own fans supporting you does affect you. I'm a professional and I care deeply about this football club. When the fans are giving you stick about a poor cross or a misplaced pass, it does seep in."
Barton was recalled to QPR's starting XI after being dropped for the defeat to Sunderland, and he added: "I felt like I physically couldn't function out there against Liverpool. That's not to say that I won't be able to do it in the future - far from it.
"I can't wait to get out there and prove all my doubters wrong. Over time, I'm convinced I'll do that."