Joey Barton accepts he has to win over the Burnley fans after his twitter spats over the last couple of years.
But he intends to get them onside with good performances in a team he feels should be challenging for promotion.
Barton took some stick during Burnley’s 2-0 win over QPR in October 2013, with a Clarets fan connecting with a bottle thrown from the James Hargreaves Stand.
And following Burnley’s promotion, ahead of their parade around town, Barton had a few jibes for Clarets supporters on twitter.
Asked if he needs to win the fans over, he admitted: “Of course I do. Turf Moor is a very intimidating place to come to as a player. I wouldn’t say they’ve picked on me from time to time, but they’ve certainly singled me out for a little bit of stick.
“I like that. I’m not a shrinking violet, who will shy away from confrontations.
Turf Moor is a very intimidating place to come to as a playerJoey Barton
“That spiralled into social media where I was getting a bit of stick. What’s missed on social media is irony or humour. Things I find funny, twitter followers don’t.
“I wasn’t being offensive. It was me trying to stand my ground and fight my corner from getting a lot of stick from Burnley fans.
“Now I’ve signed for Burnley, people regurgitate these things and it looks terrible, but one thing I do have is every club I’ve played for, I’ve loved them and they’ve loved me back. Even QPR by the end.
“I intend to do that at Burnley. There will be some fans who won’t be happy and nothing I can say here will change that, it’s about my
performances and the reason I have come to Burnley is to try and win the league and get promoted.”
The midfielder, who has one England cap, had hoped to remain in the Premier League, and was close to joining West Ham, as he explained: “The reason I left QPR was to play in the Premier League. I felt I did well enough last year in a side that was struggling to earn another
crack at that league.
“My playing ability is good enough to cope in that league. But people then start worrying about the baggage and how I’ll contribute to the
group or how I’ll react if I’m not playing, which is lazy on their behalf.
“If you’re a Premier League club and you had the opportunity to take me on a free transfer, I think it’s a no brainer. If you’re anyone
from 10th down, it’s a no brainer.
“But they are lazy in their recruitment, they don’t do their homework, they tune into things you did in 2006 and 2007 rather than look at
what’s going on.”