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By ESPN Staff

Barton to face 'vicious' Toon Army backlash?

Joey Barton has been warned he could face a rough ride from Newcastle's travelling support at Blackburn today after describing their treatment of manager Sam Allardyce as 'vicious'.

The former Manchester City midfielder has hit out at the Toon army after sections of the crowd voiced their criticism of Allardyce during the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at St James' Park last Saturday, warning fans the team will never improve and will struggle to attract new players if they do not get off the manager's back.

But Frank Gilmour, chairman of the Independent Newcastle United Supporters' Association, believes Barton should shut up or risk facing the fans' frustrations himself.

'If (Barton) says we don't have the right to criticise, then he wants to learn,' Gilmour told PA Sport.

'He obviously knows nothing about the north-east and its passion for football. That performance was from a clueless manager who did not know what he was doing, that was the fans' opinion.

'For (Barton) to come out and say that, he has lost it.

'He has been at the club five minutes and hasn't put in a good performance yet. For him to then turn around and criticise the fans is totally wrong. He should have kept his mouth shut.

'He will learn what happens after you criticise Newcastle fans. It takes a long, long time for us to forgive. I would be very, very surprised if he doesn't get a reaction at Blackburn today.'

Gilmour believes fans have been patient with Allardyce but insists there is a growing sense among supporters that the former Bolton boss is struggling.

'I was one of the fans who shouted `you don't know what you're doing',' Gilmour added.

'We know how the game should be played - not as well as managers because they get paid a lot of money to actually organise the teams - but we could see that the balance was not right (against Liverpool) and that was an absolutely shocking performance.'