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Jul 24, 2012

Barton at Fleetwood for 'reality check'

QPR midfielder Joey Barton says he has been training with League Two newcomers Fleetwood Town this week in a bid to "fall back in love" with football, and revealed he has received loan offers from at home and abroad ahead of the new season.

Barton is currently suspended for 12-matches after losing his temper against Manchester City on the final day of the 2011-12 Premier League campaign, when he received a red card for elbowing Carlos Tevez and subsequently struck out at Sergio Aguero and aimed a headbutt at Vincent Kompany.

The 29-year-old is due to return in November but a spell with a lower league club could see him come back sooner as they play more fixtures than Premier League teams.

However, while Barton admitted there is a chance he could leave QPR on loan, he insisted that his decision to train with Fleetwood is driven by disenchantment with life as a top-flight professional footballer.

"The possibility of a loan move has been mentioned, where there's been interest from several European clubs and a lot of Championship clubs too, as you may expect," Barton wrote on his official website.

"So, why would I train with Fleetwood? I have become a little disenchanted with the game in the last six months after what I have put myself through and I desperately want to fall back in love with the game.

"I feel that training in the lower leagues will give me a reality check and maybe help me become a better person, a little more humility will serve me well. The lower leagues is where the hunger for the game is at its greatest, at least where players are concerned.

"I want to reignite that passion for the game, something that I ordinarily have an abundance of. No monetary bull****. No media b******s (though apparently there still is!). No prima donnas. Just pure, old school, mortgage/livelihoods on the line, b***s-out football.

"It'll help me appreciate all that the Premier league offers me now and in the future. What else can I do? Work hard, fall back in love with the game and keep my fingers crossed that I can once again earn my place in a QPR shirt.''

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